When I learned Twittermoms was teaming up with Airwear to find out how moms ensure a healthy, safe, and successful school year for their kids, I had to answer the blog call. A child’s vision is close to my heart; you see my youngest son wore glasses from the age of fifteen months. I cant tell you how important safe, durable lenses are for children, especially those who like to play sports and those who push their lenses to the limit, like Red!  Of course, Airwear offers all of the above and then some. OK, back to my story…

Son with glasses

I remember it like it was yesterday. My cousin Anna went along with us to the ophthalmologist appointment for moral support. Finding that my son’s vision was estimated at 20/200 at best was incredibly upsetting. The child really could not see much of anything from one eye! Outside both Anna and I cried while Red looked at us rather puzzled.

The day Red put on his first pair of glasses was even more unforgettable. The nurse tried to fit the glasses but had no luck, Red was squirming like crazy. I pointed to the flowers across the street and told him to try looking at them through HIS NEW glasses. Aaahhh that phrase worked well. The expression on his face was as though a light finally shone in on the darkness! His eyes were big and his smile wide. That night when I tried to take them off he resisted immensely. It took quite some time to convince him they would be waiting for him in the morning.

Having two grown son’s hubby and I learned (through good and bad experiences) how to ensure a health, safety, and successful school year. These are the ten most important things hubby and I incorporated into the boys’ school years.

  1. Physicals – I always made it a point for the boys to have their physicals just prior to the start of school. This included vision and hearing exams too. It is truly amazing how bad vision can have an extremely negative effect on early learning skills.My youngest son struggled when he was in the lower grades due to his poor vision, even while wearing his glasses. It required great energy and concentration for him to focus all day long. After speaking with his teacher, she decided to administer his afternoon testing orally. The combination of being so young and having bad vision had a direct effect on his tests. By not having to read and write the answers, the results were greatly improved.
  2. Open house – I always attended open house with the boys. Parents and children both need to be informed and know what to expect. This is vital to a successful school year.
  3. Breakfast – I insisted the boys eat a good breakfast regardless of the circumstances. They were taught and frequently reminded that breakfast was the most important meal. My analogy (when they were young) was they needed food in their body just as a car needs gas. Cereal, hot or cold, along with juice or milk was the typical breakfast. I had yogurt, granola bars, and fresh fruit on hand as well and did give them a choice. My youngest liked veggies or leftovers for breakfast when he got older which was AOK with me. The boys love to eat anyway so breakfast was really no problem. In fact they never missed breakfast even when they entered high school and had to fix it themselves.
  4. Standard bed times – Rest is an import aspect of life, period. Regular bed times, and rising times for that matter, offer a stable routine as well as allowing the body time to recoup. Additionally, the kids know what to expect, get the rest they need, and gives Mom some quiet time too.  Hubby and I would read or tell stories at bedtime when the boys were young. This really built confidence and strong relationships with our kids.
  5. Dinner time – Dinner time is family time. I prepared dinner 6 out of 7 nights. There is nothing more rewarding than sharing your day with your family and having them do the same. Yes, there were times when sports or other activities interrupted dinner however, most of the time we sat down and ate together. The boys are grown now and have told me they looked forward to our dinner time as well.
  6. Volunteering – My husband and I always volunteered at school. Whether it be sports, dances, or carnivals one of us always supported what our boys were involved in at school. This really helped build their confidence and self esteem.
  7. Transportation – Making a plan in advance and sharing it with your kids will relieve a great amount of stress, especially if you have children in different schools with different times. Know bus drop off and pick schedules, bus stops, or car pool parents along with phone numbers. Write down the information and be sure your children have access to the information in the event you are not available!
  8. Washing hands – A parent can not stress enough to the children that hands carry germs. Talk to your kids about appropriate ways to interact with others along with how germs are transmitted. Pack a hand sanitizer or wipes in the back pack or lunch box.
  9. Back to School Tradition – We had a back to school shopping tradition. Every year after the supply lists were published we would set a time for school supply shopping. The boys and I would shop for supplies and afterward stop for pizza or a burger. They looked forward to it every year.
  10. Back Packs – Be aware of what your children will have to carry on a daily basis before buying a book bag or back pack. Both of my boys carried almost all of their books once they reached middle school. What a load to carry all day long! Consider a rolling bag if this is your child’s situation, they will be thankful you did at the end of the day.

My hope is that hubby and my parental experiences will give you some ideas to ensure your kids have a healthy, safe, and successful school year.

Before I close, this is one more exciting excerpt from twittermoms I’d like to share – “Airwear and your fellow TwitterMom, Beth Aldrich, are sponsoring an essay contest for consumers, encouraging parents and care-givers to share how they plan to help their kids live a healthy, safe and successful school year. Families can submit their thoughts by visiting LighterSaferGreener.com. One grand prize winner will be awarded $1,000, while 10 first prize winners will receive vouchers for Airwear lenses valued up to $400.”

And the legal stuff: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Airwear blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, visit http://airwear.twittermoms.com/about. “