Back to school: Tips to prepare for the school year

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LONG ISLAND – Grab that commuter coffee mug, toss a baloney sandwich in your kid's backpack, and get ready to hit the drop off line. It's the first day back to school for many of the half a million Long Island school kids.

For the next 180 school days, parents will be on homework duty, sports car pools, and an on-time goodnight. They'll also get to leave behind the summer brain drain, scrambling for things to fill the days of idle and the dreaded phrase, "I'm bored!!"

It's also time to cover some bases. Here's a starting list of what we as parents should do to cut kids' and parent's stress:

Develop a family plan and hold a family meeting to discuss: when you'll buy supplies/clothing, wake-up & bedtimes, transportation to and from school, sports, activities.

Post the plan: on places such as the fridge or whiteboard.

Safety Talk: Bullying is top-of-list worry for kids (and parents).

Remember: witnesses suffer same impacts as victims.

Make The Grade: share expectations, encouragement. And create a structure of time & place to help get it done. Missing/late assignments impact grades heavily.

Helpful links to common concerns: 

Embarrassment, suicide, early dating, sports stress, fear