If you’re a mum or dad of school-aged kids, you may at times feel powerless over what happens between the school dropoff and pickup.
You can help with their homework, but you can’t make them pay attention in class.
You can pack their lunchbox with great food, but you can’t make get them to eat it.
Or can you?
Actually, yes, according to blogger Kel Ferguson of The Realistic Mum fame.
Listen Now: Kel Ferguson explains how to help your children get the most out of school
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She’s an ex-school teacher, a mum of three and a children’s author, and says that a few simple steps can get your child enjoying school more and learning to their best potential.
Tip 1: Being On Time To School Improves Their Day
Kel encourages parents to make a big effort to get their kids to school on time.
“Lots of parents can drop their kids off to school and are sometimes running late, and they probably don’t think about how that can sometimes have an unsettling day for their child,” she said.
“I know as a teacher, for children who came in late, I was annoyed at them because they were late, but when I became a mum I realised that wasn’t their fault.
“My son Jack and I have found waking up 20 minutes earlier set us up better for the whole day.
“Jack said he didn’t like getting to school late because it made him worry that he was going to get in trouble. As a mum I felt so bad and I remembered from my time as a teacher, that’s what the kids were like in my own class.
“So now we leave early and Jack’s always on time, and he really appreciates that.
Tip 2: Pack A Lunchbox For One, Not For An Army
As a teacher, Kel says she saw many lunchboxes filled with more food than an adult could consume in 6 hours.
“On playground duty I was finding kids throwing food in the bin all the time, and they would tell me if they didn’t eat all their lunch they would get in trouble,” she said.
“As a teacher, I would see that while the kids get 15 minutes for recess, they spend 10 of that lining up or finding a teacher to unpackage everything.
“Your children don’t actually need to eat a lot of food. In Year 1 and 2 they just want to play.
“Jack now gets packed the quickest, easiest things to eat. I do just four foods.”
Her lunchbox tips include:
-Give them a fruit that’s easy to cut up or eat.
-Pack snacks that are easy to eat, such as squeezy yoghurt.
-Pre-open packs, for example loosen the yoghurt screw-top, unwrap the popper straw, snip the side of the chip packet.
-Peel a little bit of the mandarin