Ready for School?

by Karin Price, LMSW

As parents we want our children to be safe. This time of the year ideas for getting ready to go back to school are everywhere. As we prepare for another academic year, let’s remember to prepare our children for the questions and challenges they will face because you are an internationally adoptive family.

My children are adults and of all the things we did to prepare for school, the best pre-school family activity we did was learning the school handbook ‘s policy on “no bullying”. Today, some handbooks title that section “respect” or “duties and responsibilities”. When an incident happens at school, your child needs to be empowered to handle the incident as outlined in the handbook. If your child does not know the school policy, your child is at a disadvantage. If the policy is inadequate, you can work to change it.

In high school, a racist comment was made to my child. She knew the policy and followed each step which lead to a 3 days suspension of the young man. Needless to say, after that incident everyone at the high school began to respect each other with their words. My daughter had other teens who told her she had done the right thing. Everyone felt safer.

Here are some other ideas to prepare for school:

http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/category/parenting/adoption-at-school/

http://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-parenting/school/

http://www.adoptionpolicy.org/Adoption_Awareness_Schools.pdf

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