By Renée Smith | j&R Tutoring Academy of Indiana

And no, I don’t mean do they know the alphabet or numbers from one to ten. Are they rested, fed, dressed, have their books and/or homework, coats, hats, gloves, and any number of other items that may be necessary?

I have previously mentioned the importance of establishing discipline and rules of behavior at an early age. When formal schooling begins, the smart parent implements more standard procedures.

Children who have attended a preschool do have some advantage because they have already learned several behaviors like hanging up their coats and putting their items in a specific place. However, once they enter the world of public or private school, the requirements multiply.

Parents need to be sensitive to the additional responsibilities and stresses school presents. Your child should have one place where the backpack – or similar item – belongs. Then everyone knows where to look for assignments or completed papers. There will not be mad chaos looking for the backpack the following morning when it is time to leave.

Having dinner about the same time each evening is also quite helpful for both children and parents.

A quality breakfast that is not eaten on the run is a must! You wouldn’t set out on a trip unless there was gas in the car. Don’t send your children to school unless they are “gassed up!” And this does not mean a doughnut! The teacher does not need a room full of children on a sugar high! And unfortunately, the sugar high is followed by a “low.”

Set bedtimes and stick to them. We all have those situations when circumstances necessitate an exception, but your children will be more successful in school when these exceptions are rare.

Do you have a child who makes the selection of the daily wardrobe high drama? Choose two outfits and lay them out the night before. Then the following morning the child can select the one to wear. The child still gets to pick, but hopefully the drama is eliminated.

Allowing a child to control any situation diminishes mom and dad’s ability to parent! I have heard so many parents lament that their child “pitches a fit” if one or another behavior is curtailed.

Mom, Dad, if you haven’t figured it out . . . your child has outsmarted you. They know all they have to do to get their way is to pitch a fit.

Children who arrive at school well rested, well fed, and for whom there was no chaos at home (looking for the backpack or selecting the outfit) will be much better prepared for the day.

Adults don’t like to begin the day stressed and neither do children!