Back-to-school time should include a vital conversation

It’s back-to-school time and more than a few parents in the region are feeling those mixed emotions.

It’s great to get a change of scenery for kids who actually get a little bored by the end of August.

But another summer is ending, the daily routine is about to get more complex and hectic and a new set of daily realities is about to kick in.

It may not be at the top of the list, but the biggest reality is that children and teens in the area are heading into another nine months of important development.

There is learning to do. There is social advancement to be achieved. There is cultural growth that is supposed to be happening.

So much of it is in their control. Effort, attitude and outlook, much of it learned in the home, will determine how little or much development happens in these nine months.

But a lot is not in their control.

Who is their teacher?

Do they like him or her enough to learn what they should from them?

Does the new course load seem easy or hard or boring?

Who are their new classmates?

Is there a bully in the bunch they don’t know how to deal with?

Do they feel out of place at school and therefore afraid to get involved in all the positive activities available?

In these answers are the result of the next nine months. Every parent needs to find out these answers from their child or children very quickly in the next few weeks in order to offer the kind of guidance that can make or break a school year.

And how do parents find out these answers?

Well, start with turning off the TV and the cell phones during dinner each night and insisting on real life conversation.

We know . . . novel concept.

But it’s the one that’s worked the best for centuries.