School Readiness

July 6, 2017 12:20 pm Published by

By: Alicia Pressley-Moss, M.D.

As the school year rolls around  the amount of snoozes on alarm clocks doubles as we find ourselves waking up early to get our kids ready. While sending our children to school is a very important part of their lives, we must not forget the alarming factors that can help contribute to a better school year. Below I have provided a few facts, along with proven studies, that will help lay down a pathway for a child to be better prepared for a successful school year.

One of, and if not the most important thing to remember, is that parental involvement leads to more achievements, higher grades, improved social skills, positive attitudes and behavior.  It also attributes to more children wanting to go to post-secondary education. Why are these things important? Well, I’m glad you asked.  Parental involvement not only provides a bigger window of opportunity for the child, but it also helps lay hold of character, work ethic, and a desire to continue to learn, which is not taught in a classroom. By following some of the simple steps provided below, you can assure your child is prepared to make a positive effect on humanity and their educational goals.

Some easy ways for parents, guardians, and care givers to help ensure early success in school are as follows:

1. Assure your child gets a breakfast, because it is essential to having better concentration and energy for learning

2. Teach child to respect authority, i.e. teachers, principals, and counselors

3. Make sure your child is completing assignments and keeping up with their peers. Create an environment with little distractions for your child to complete homework, and be available to assist if child has trouble completing the assignments.

4. Keep a record of how much T.V. your child watches and the programs. (AAP recommends no more than 2 hours of screen time a day.  Do not allow T.V. to be a babysitter for your child)

5. Set regular routine times for meals, play, homework and sleeping, so children can know what is expected of them

6. Be active in discussions and sit down to discuss how their day went. Protect your children from injury or abuse from their peers.

7. Make sure your children have a set sleep routine. Best sleep is if electronics are turned off and put away at least thirty minutes prior to bedtime. The optimal amount of sleep is 8-10 hours a day.

I’m sure that most of us can agree that these are just some of the challenges that lay ahead for early childhood development. Nevertheless, it’s significant to make sure parents, guardians, and or primary care givers are actively involved with who your child’s friends are. Find time to speak to them about the dangers of social media and cyber bullying, to facilitate a more socially aware child. While this does take some extra work, remember that something as simple as placing parental controls on internet usage on personal computers, phones etc. can help eliminate a lot of unwanted behaviors. Providing positive parental support  protects children from  not only being a victim of bullying but also prevents them from being the bully. Typical victims of bullying are children who have few leadership skills, little to no friends, and are more withdrawn socially.  There’s nothing wrong with being the nosy parent when it comes to who your child is around and what your child is doing on social media. Being assertive in knowing what your child’s daily life is like at school helps to create a peaceful environment for your children to be able to openly speak to you about their problems.  Don’t forget to be their motivational speaker and instill confidence in them daily. A couple of questions parents can ask their child to assess if they are being bullied: Have you ever been teased? Do you play with other children at recess or do you play by yourself?  Do you have any nicknames that kids have said to you?

In addition, an important part of ensuring success for your child in school is having your child’s well child examinations at your pediatrician’s office to address impairments or developmental delays such as Autism or vision/hearing impairments. Ensure that your child has a plan in place for the school to administer medications if they have food allergies or asthma.

There is nothing more fulfilling in life as parents than to see a happy child on their way to success. Following the steps and tips recently provided helps to lay the road map in how to assure that success is attained. While we know it takes more than a village to raise a child, we must do our parts. Recollecting on my childhood, I can attribute who I am and where I am to my parents who refused to give up loving me, helping me, and assisting me to become the person I am today. Nevertheless, as parents, continuing to be involved with our children not only shows the ability to recognize the importance of school readiness, but it also reflects how love ought to look to a child with compassion, care, and consistency. 


Alicia Pressley-Moss, M.D., provides care for pediatric patients at Magnolia Pediatric Clinic. To schedule an appointment, please call (662) 293-7390.




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Predictors of Poor School Readiness in Children Without Developmental Delay at Age 2
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This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center

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