Cambrian: Opinion

Lady Tie Di: Prep for back-to-school time with healthy food, attitude

I just read this anonymous quote that said, “ ‘I can’ is as important as ‘IQ.’ ” As many of you are getting ready to send your kidlets back to school, I think it’s important to regroup — as parents, as children, as neighbors, set a calm, nurturing and supportive scene.

If your child didn’t attend summer school (now taking place just before school starts rather than at the end of the last school year; genius strategy!), have them read out loud to you, write thank you notes, stories about their summer —whatever it takes to get those academic gears moving.

Further your child’s confidence by teaching them affirmations (self-talk). Affirmations work at any age! Have your son or daughter help write something positive and helpful like, “I have confidence in me. I can improve my reading and math with practice. I listen to my teachers and they help me whenever I need it. I like school.”

You don’t want to get much longer than that because it will get boring for them and lose its impact. If they can do it themselves, have them write it down on little cards and pin in their room, in the bathroom, in their notebook.

If they bring lunch from home, have them help shop for groceries. Read labels. Discuss what the ingredients are. Plan healthy meals and snacks. How much do you need for the week? Pack their meals the night before. While you’re at it, pick what clothes to wear. PARTICULARLY for the first day of school!

Parents: OK, two boys later, I do know what it’s like to work and raise children. Do yourself a favor and check your child’s backpack when they come home every day. I cannot tell you how many things we missed knowing because the paper from school was buried under old bananas and sandwich wrappers. Read newsletters sent home! I repeat: READ


Questions about your child’s homework or school work? If you’ve got a computer, you can check online any time of the day or night with your child’s private access code. I highly recommend this, especially in high school. Yes, we must remember it’s their responsibility to take care of their own business,

particularly by this age — but, you will know what to expect at grade time. No arguments; you’ve got the proof.

Have an issue? Have concerns about your child? Here’s the protocol: contact your teacher first. Contact them again, if needed. Ask for help. If you need still more help, you may contact your school’s principal. BUT, go to your child’s teacher first. Don’t assume anything. Make an appointment. Be calm. Know that our schools are excellent places of learning.

Finally, neighbors: Know that there will now be little kids getting off school buses, running between cars, walking alongside the roads. Be careful, be alert. Get to know the youngsters up the street or one block over from you that you always see in the morning or afternoon while you’re weeding your garden. Don’t just look for them, lookout for them.

Good luck!

Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at, or visit her web site at