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  • Adriane Weinberg
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The morning of the first day of school can be a frenetic, crazy time! By planning ahead, things can run smoother. Whether your child is starting school for the very first time or a returning student, here are a dozen tips to ease the transition from summer to school. If your child is in college, read Critical Information below.

  1. Create a schedule to complete any unfinished summer assignments.
  2. Review your child’s clothes and shoes and buy needed items. Donate what no longer fits.
  3. Do the same for school supplies.
  4. Schedule medical and dental appointments.
  5. Schedule a haircut.
  6. Start your child’s school routine one to two weeks beforehand. Establish regular meal times and school bedtime. Set the alarm and get your child up, dressed and fed.
  7. Start limiting TV and computer time.
  8. Except for the very young ‘uns, have your child lay out clothes and pack the backpack the night before.
  9. Pack lunch and review the backpack the night before.
  10. Create and keep a permanent ID card in the backpack including your child’s name, your name and contact info, and important medical or other information.
  11. Have a system for papers coming from and going to school. It can be as simple as two labeled folders, To Parent and To School. Depending on your child’s age and ability, decide if you want to maintain the system alone or involve your child.
  12. Set up a dedicated spot for homework.

For the first few days, add a half-hour to whatever time you think you’ll need for the morning routine. You’ll be glad you did!

Critical Information For Your College-Age Student

Did you know that if your adult child is injured and unable to make his own medical decisions, you may not be able to make decisions for him or even access his medical records? On his 18th birthday, he legally becomes an adult. As an adult, he has the legal right to choose his own medical care and limit others (including you!) from accessing his medical records.

To be involved with your adult child’s health care and treatment, you and your child must complete the following two forms and have them notarized.

  1. An Advance Health Care Directive, or medical power of attorney, gives the person appointed by your child (called an agent or proxy) the authority to make medical decisions on his behalf. A Living Will, part of the Directive, documents his wishes about what medical treatment he does/does not want.
  2. A Medical Information Release Form. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prohibits release of personal health information without patient consent. This form gives you authorization to access to your child’s medical records.

Laws vary from state to state. Be sure to use forms for your state.

To obtain an Advance Health Care Directive, click on, then click on Download Your State Specific Advance Directive (on the right) and scroll down to select your state. Print and complete the form. If your child is an out-of-state student, it is recommended you complete a form for his home state and the state where he attends college.

For a generic HIPAA Medical Information Release Form, click here.

You and your child should keep notarized copies of the forms in a safe but easily accessible place. Keep originals with your important papers.

No one likes to think about this possibility. But, while it’s fresh in your mind, I encourage you to take immediate action to execute these vital documents. As the adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. After the forms are completed, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you protected your child in case of an emergency. Then you can focus on spending quality time together until school starts!

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Notable Quotes

The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. ~Robert Maynard Hutchins

Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed. ~Robert Gallagher


Adriane Weinberg

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