Parent Resources

Please visit NHE Counseling Corner for current & up-to-date Family Resources

Help Your Child Succeed in School

Build the Habit of Good Attendance Early

School success goes hand in hand with good attendance!


  • Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
  • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read.
  • Student can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
  • Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
  • Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school-and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college and at work.


  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots.
  • Introduce your child to her teachers and classmates before school starts to help her transition.
  • Don't let you child stay home unless she/he is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselor, or other parents for advice on how to make her/him feel comfortable and excited about learning.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school is something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor,or another parent.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.

Dear NHE Family,

Fidgets have become increasingly popular in the school, especially these past few months. These small items were once only familiar to those working with an occupational therapist for a variety of conditions including attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sensory processing disorder (SPD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These tools have a long, documented, well researched history for the management of these learning differences. However, the availability and use of fidgets for all students has recently gained popularity.

There is a big challenge with this gain in popularity. With the increased popularity and availability of fidgets at stores, we are missing the very important steps of analyzing what sensory input a student needs to help him or her be successful. Without this important step, fidgets become toys instead of helpful tools.

In order to maintain success and focus in the classroom for ALL students, Normal Heights limits the use of fidgets to those students that have shown the need to use a fidget to assist with focusing and attention and can use it appropriately.

Some helpful guidelines are:

  1. Be mindful- think before you grab a fidget
  2. Only use a fidget to help you focus or calm down- otherwise it will be taken away
  3. Do not use a fidget if it distracts others- if it does, you will be asked to put it away or choose a different fidget.
  4. Put the fidget away when finished using.

Free Learning Website

Five Love Languages

Ways Parents Can Help Their Children in a Crisis

Children can feel the same intense feelings that you feel about the crisis. This is a natural reaction. Some children may show their feelings in a direct and immediate fashion, others will wait until a later time. A severe change in a young person's behavior (speech, emotion, appearance, alertness, activity) may be a sign that professional help is needed.

  1. Protect students (including high school students) from vicarious trauma and information overload. Limit television and give age-appropriate, accurate information in small doses.

  2. Be aware that it is a person's reaction that determines how powerful the event is, not the event itself. Children (and parents) may be reacting to previous hurtful experiences.

  3. It is okay for you to share your reactions with moderation while remembering that you are modeling for your children.

  4. Listen to what young people have to say. It is important not to shut off discussion by offering your opinions or judgments. Do clarify facts.

  5. Support children to express their reactions in a way that is appropriate for them. Let them talk, write or draw about their feelings.

  6. Listen to what your children say and how they say it. Repeat your child(ren)'s words, and recognize fear, anxiety, insecurity. For instance: "you are afraid that... " or, "You wonder if something like this will happen again." This helps both you and the child clarify feelings.

  7. Reassure your child with, "We are together." "We care about you." "We will take care of you."

  8. Responding to repeated questions. You may need to repeat information and reassurances many times.

  9. A familiar routine is comforting!

  10. Remember, children may remain quiet and depressed for some time after the event and some may begin to act out noisily and physically as a method of dealing with their feelings.

Helpful Resource About BULLYING

Information taken from the books "Just Kidding" and "My Secret Bully" by Trudy Ludwig

Strategies to talk with your child

  • What would you do if you saw a friend being bullied by another friend?
  • Have you ever been bullied? How does it feel to be bullied?
  • Why are kids mean to each other?
  • How are kids mean to each other in your school?
  • Do boys typically bully others in the same way as girls?

What can a target (someone who is being bullied) do?

  • Know that it is NOT your fault.
  • Know that you don't deserve it.
  • Tell the bully to stop- Only if you feel safe doing so.
  • If possible, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Report bullying to an adult you trust.
  • Hang out with people that let you be you.
  • Use humor to deflect bullying.
  • Don't respond to bullying by becoming a bully yourself.
  • Tell the person how their behavior makes you feel-Only if you feel safe doing so.

Teasing Dos and Don'ts

Be careful of others' feelings.
Use humor gently and carefully.
Ask whether teasing about a certain topic hurts someone's feelings.
Accept teasing from others if you tease.
Tell others if teasing about a certain topic hurts your feelings.
Know the difference between friendly, gentle teasing and hurtful ridicule or harassment.
Try to read others' "body language" to see if their feelings are hurt- even when they don't tell you.

Tease someone you don't know well.
Tease about a person's body.
Tease about a person's family members.
Tease about a topic when someone asks you not to.
Tease someone who seems agitated or who you know is having a bad day.
Be thin -skinned about teasing that is meant in a friendly way.
Swallow your feelings about teasing. Tell someone in a direct and clear way what is bothering you.

**Note about teasing**

For many families and friends, teasing and kidding around is a way of showing affection and creating a feeling of playful camaraderie with one another. Both the teaser and the person being teased can easily swap roles, there is no imbalance of power, and the basic dignity of everyone involved is maintained. Equally important, if the teaser sees that the person being teased is obviously upset or objects to the teasing, the harmless teaser stops immediately.

Additional resources:
Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project
International Bullying Prevention Association
Operation Respect
The Ophelia Project
Cyber Bully

 Cyberbullying Rise During COVID

How Parents Can Help Their Children Do Well In School

  • Model and talk to your child about the importance of being prompt and ready to learn each and everyday. "Daily and on-time attendance equals to academic success."
  • Show an interest in your child's learning.
  • Tell your child you expect quality work and good grades.
  • Ask to see graded tests and papers. Contact teachers if there is a concern.
  • Supply your child with monthly/weekly calendar books to help organize his/her time.
  • Establish regular times for family members to eat, sleep, play, work and study.
  • Have schoolwork, especially reading, come before sports, TV, and chores.
  • Encourage reading.
  • Provide reading materials that interest your child and that is at their reading level.
  • Give books or magazines as gifts.
  • Know your child's strengths.
  • Express confidence in your child's ability to be successful.
  • Give encouragement and help when needed.
  • Talk with your child about his/her future.
  • Aim for a high level of education.

How Parents Can Help

  • Sing and recite nursery rhymes to your child.
  • Get a library card for your child and take him/her frequently.
  • Read a story to your child every day and talk about what is happening in the story.
  • Read environmental text with your child (the cereal box, street signs, store signs, things at the grocery store, junk mail, etc.)
  • Have your child tell you a story or describe something (make it a game like "I spy...").
  • Take your child to the library or Barnes and Noble for story hour.
  • Play games relating to sorting and attributes of objects (size, color, shape, use).
  • Play word games and listening games.
  • Encourage your child to draw and write.
  • Give your child books as gifts for birthday and holidays, as rewards.
  • Let your child have his/her own bookshelf.
  • Watch educational TV programs with your child and talk about them together.
  • Help your child listen for the sounds the letters make in words and sentences.

Enjoy the learning time with your kiddos,

Mrs. Florence Alabanza-de la Cruz

NHE School Counselor

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