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Basic Traits of A+ Parents


Q. What do veteran teachers say are the characteristics of good parents that pay off in school success for their children?


n       Get as much education as you can before you settle down to have kids. The No. 1 indicator of school success for a young person is having a well-educated parent.


n       Be married when you have the child and stay married. Nothing helps a child focus on learning as much as parents who are sticking together and getting along.


n       Serve well-balanced, homemade meals as often as you can, and make sure your child eats good food at least three times a day, especially at breakfast. Minimize junk food, candy, sweets, soda pop and fried foods. Have healthy snacks like fresh fruits and sliced vegetables on hand at all times.


n       Keep a routine schedule with a regular wake-up time, regular mealtimes, a regular homework time, a few chores to do every day, and a regular bedtime.


n       Make sure your child gets at least eight hours of sleep.


n       Set up a quiet place for homework and insist that it be done with no other distractions - no headphones, no TV, no Instant Messaging, no phone calls.


n       Let your child choose how to spend one "media hour" per day. That means a total of one hour using the TV, audio equipment, computer games, or any other entertainment-type media, after chores and homework.


n       Limit after-school activities to one or two at a time.


n       Take your child to the library once every week or two.


n       Read to your child nightly through Grade 6.


n       Talk to your child about sex and other "hot potatoes." Don't leave the key tasks of parenting up to strangers at school.


n       Tell your child at each parting: "I love you!"


Homework: For more ideas, see


By Susan Darst Williams Parental Involvement 20 2008


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