Hi Parent and Kid Hons!,

By now ALL the children should be back in school, rocking the readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic!!

If you’re having a tough time, or if your child is having a tough time adjusting to their new year (assuming, of course, that they advanced after last year), here are some helpful tips that might just make the start of your child’s new academic year a little less stressful and easier on the dotted “i’s.”

1. Make sure you have taken care of all the preliminary steps for physical exams, and extra-curricular activities. It’s a burden off the mind knowing that you’re sending the little ones back with a clean bill of health, with no STD’s or summer pregnancies. And for those older kids who have a full shift’s worth of homework on top of their school day, make sure they know it must all be finished before they go to their night job. It’s never too soon to get that responsible work ethic started! They can always sleep at recess and lunchtime the next day. Be sure to stock up on the No-Doze!

2. Did you fall out of your regular routine during the summer, when the kids worked the two jobs and did the household chores? Get that routine back on track. Though it should not be too hard, considering they get to sleep in an extra hour from not having the 4 a.m. summer paper route.

3. Create that homework center in the car! And don’t forget the Dramamine for those queasy kids who have problems with the motion. A few barf bags are not a bad idea either. Just in case. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to help them with their math by having them reconcile your bank statement while you are driving them to their night job!

4. Don’t discount the importance of their social game, hons! Your child is a year older! This means that wardrobe is everything. Even those schools with uniforms have these issues. It’s sometimes easier with boys than girls. But even so, make your kid “cooler” by sewing some custom hem bindings on the back side of the uniforms, or clothes. Here’s a lovely pattern for boys or girls: skulls. Here’s a fun t-shirt for the boys! Make your little Boo cool AND tough at the same time. And make your daughter the cool girl when it’s time to change for gym, by getting her one of these to wear under her school clothes: interesting school undies! Great conversation starters.

5. In this high-tech age it is essential for your child to keep up with his or her classmates by having the latest electronics. But, let’s face it, hons, sometimes budget is an issue. Until those welfare checks come through, get your child’s iPhone here. Very affordable. All you have to do is teach them how to fake telephone conversations. Take a lovely family walk outside one Saturday and point out the homeless people who talk to themselves. Explain that nowadays, it actually looks like they could be on an important conversation with their bluetooth and iPhone! Great family exercise and a teaching opportunity all in one.

6. Which brings me to one of the most important school supplies. Don’t send the little ones off without at least one condom handy. These days you just never know when that special first time, or second time, or eighty-fourth time is going to happen!

Now, you parents don’t worry. We are in a new age that hearkens back to those wild, fun times of the Children’s Crusades. If your child is six or older, they are perfectly capable of making their own meals, doing their own laundry, getting themselves to school and making their own healthcare appointments. Don’t be one of those annoying “helicopter” parents who wastes time looking after their child’s education and development! How boring is that? And irresponsible. How else are the little darlings going to learn about independence, self-sufficiency and how to find the best hiding places from the police? And by the time they’re fifteen they should be paying half your rent or house payment!

I hope these tips have helped you. Seymour thanks Fenwick and I regularly for his “survival training” when we would blindfold him, drive him to different cities with ten dollars in his pocket and leave him to find his way home. By the time he was seven, he was able to make it home in a day and a half, clever boy!

Best of luck to you and your own little ones,

IB Crabby

Tell Mrs. Crabby all!

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