For more than 20 years Angela Ardolino has been serving families throughout the state of Florida, providing parents and guardians with smart, healthy and eco-friendly advice for sustainable living. As an entrepreneur, her businesses have provided support, guidance and resources to the stay-at-home CEOs, domestic engineers and full-time mothers and fathers who also work outside of the home.
She is the founder and editorial director for Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine, a valuable publication committed to enhancing the lives of families and providing information they can trust about raising responsible children and teens. As the Founder and Executive Director of the Children�s Theater Company in South Florida, she counseled, nurtured and changed the lives of thousands of children through the performing arts from Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Ardolino also presented parenting classes and workshops with a number of renowned organizations including Informed Families and the Miami-Dade County Department of Children and Families.
She strives to inform families about smart, healthy and energy-friendly living that helps not only the family unit but also the entire community. Most recently she launched Parenting With Angela, in which she provides candid advice and serves as the kid campaigner and teenage translator for parents. She can be seen weekly on ABC Action News providing advice about everything from breastfeeding to sending your kids to college to talking about sex. Ardolino is also a featured correspondent on Daytime providing resources to parents across the country on the syndicated network.
In the last two years, she has had the pleasure of serving on the Arts Council of Hillsborough County as well as serving on numerous boards which serve women and children, including the Executive Committee of Arts Tampa Bay, the Glazer Children�s Museum, Junior League of Tampa and Florida Fashionistas. As the chair of the Imagination Gala in 2010, she helped to raise more than $215,000 for the museum, and most recently more than $155,000 at the Seagrapes event hosted by The Florida Aquarium. Follow Angela on Twitter, @angelaardolino
By Angela Ardolino
The back-to-school season is one filled with excited and inspiration for a new year that’s sure to be full of new tales and friendships. It can also be a time when kids are apprehensive or nervous about what’s to come, especially those who will be entering a new school environment like elementary, middle or high school.
Here are a few things to try before the first day of school.
Little ones heading from day care or pre-k into kindergarten will see anticipation, excitement and maybe anxiety as the big day approaches. To help ease the nerves, take them to visit the school so they can see their classroom, meet their teacher and maybe even try out the playground. You can also make them a part of the back-to-school shopping experience.
Making the change into middle school is daunting. No doubt about it. Your child will most certainly face a larger school campus, different teachers for every subject and a larger homework load. Helping your tween develop their organizational skills will help tremendously. Creating an overall plan for the day, week and year with a calendar will help your pre-teen thrive in these pivotal years.
Your middle schooler will certainly face puberty in middle school as well. As a parent, you’ll probably feel helpless when trying to help your child deal with the social and physical issues. Always be available to talk with them and offer compassion and support, reassuring them that their peers are facing the same issues.
Whether we like it or not, the moment your kids enter the halls of high school, they are bordering on young adulthood. But before they even start ninth grade, sit down with your teen and make sure they understand EXACTLY what you expect from them. Also establish consequences if those expectations are not met.
High schoolers are more apt to taking risks they wouldn’t normally. Although it may seem that your child doesn’t want your guidance they will secretly expect and NEED it. Make sure that your child understands no topic is off limits for discussion, from sex to drugs you will never judge them. You will also help your child thrive in high school by staying involved through meetings, events, school functions and communicating with teachers frequently.
Remind your high schooler the going to college is a privelege and not a right. They will need to work hard in high school to get into a good college.
Being accessible to your children to talk will ease their transitions into any grade. Don’t forget that you were a child once and dealt with similar issues. Be open and guide your kids to a productive and exciting new school year.
By Angela Ardolino
When we send our kids off to school we know they’ll learn to read and write, add and subtract. Eventually they’ll grow up to learn more challenging content that will be necessary for their future. But is there more that schools can help instill in our kids that guarantees their success as adults?
The answer is yes. Although not a subject, teaching our children to be confident in who they are and what they believe can go a long way.
Starts At Home
The most fundamental basis of creating confident kids comes from praise and encouragement. And it starts at home. From infancy to young adulthood, confidence, according to KidsHealth.org, rises out of your kids feeling competent and gaining a “can do” attitude. Hearing praise from mom and dad on a regular basis is good, but the praise means much more when it refers to a specific effort or abilities like getting an A on a test or hitting a homerun at the softball game.
Tasks that take longer to learn, like tying shoes or riding a bike, need patience from parents, constant encouragement and good instruction. Before you know it, your kids will be confident that they can achieve any challenge put in front of them.
Building Confidence At School
When at school, building confidence is about making connections with teacher, administrators and other students. Your child’s teacher should make this a part of your child’s school experience. Your kids will also build confidence through the clubs, classes and organizations they participate in. These activities play the important role of building confidence by establishing individual and group goals and working together to accomplish them.
It’s also important that your student feels that they matter. That their feeling, tastes, ideas and contributions are important to their school and teachers. When teachers take time with each child, it sends a clear message that they’re important and what they have to say matters.
Why It’s Important
Raising confident kids is about raising children who know who they are and are eager to challenge themselves. Continuing the confidence building at school will help kids get beyond the “Why me?” lament in favor of the “Why not me?” attitude. Helping your child to shift their way of thinking about what they can do will produce life long results.
As parent, keep your eyes out for falling grades and erratic behavior. These can be key signs that your child is not receiving the attention they need to thrive at school. Reach out to the school and find out what programs and opportunities are available to your kids to spend more one-on-one time with teachers and other students.
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