Parent-teacher conferences near
IT'S ALMOST time for the first parent-teacher conferences of the school year. Here are some tips for making these sessions easier on parents -- and teachers, too:
* If you're worried about being nervous, make some notes to refer to during the conference. It'll help you remember what you want to ask, and it tells a teacher you take this seriously.
* Tell your child you're going to a conference. It's a way to find out how he feels about school.
* The ideal conference should last at least 30 minutes.
* In a two-parent family, both should try to attend.
* Some good questions to ask: Is my child performing at grade level? What are his strengths and weaknesses in reading, in math, etc.? Does he need academic help? How does he do as a leader, as a participant? Is he liked by his peers?
* It's not expecting too much to ask a teacher to meet with you early in the morning or in the evening, in order to accommodate your work schedule.
* If the teacher doesn't show you a portfolio of your child's work, ask to see things she's done.
* Keep your identity separate from your child's. Comparing what your child is like to what you were like then, or to what you are like now, isn't helpful to a teacher.
Don't worry, be happy
"Worry is a rockin' chair, it goes back 'n forth but it gets nowhere."
There is wisdom in this old song. And if you think it's time to go off your worry rocker, here's a workshop for you. Jewish Family Services is offering "Why Worry?" a four-session workshop for senior citizens. It will explore the sources of worry in our lives, the unhealthy thought patterns that bring on worry and new techniques to conquer worry. Social work intern Alan Spector will lead the sessions, which begin Nov. 6 and continue Wednesdays through November at the Northwest Senior Center, 3101 Fallstaff Road. Anyone interested must register by Oct. 29; call Spector on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 358-6856.
Try as they will, busy parents usually don't have much time to read. The folks from Ladies Home Journal are offering a solution to this problem: a new publication, Parent's Digest. It presents excerpts from books and articles on pertinent parenting topics; the premiere issue is on newsstands. The fall/winter edition includes how-to-help articles and some just plain good reading. Topics include self-esteem, sibling rivalry and healthy snacks, and there are excerpts from bigger works by Bill Cosby, Erma Bombeck, Ann Landers and Dave Barry. There's an Oprah Winfrey interview with former child abusers, and Mr. Rogers' advice on coping with Christmas.
Some things to remember:
* The new public television series "Childhood" looks at the influences that shape us as humans and as members of families and societies. It takes viewers into the daily lives of 12 families in several countries, tracks development from birth to puberty and shows how different cultures mark milestones in a child's life and, thus, shape the child. "Childhood" is being shown Mondays at 9 p.m. on Maryland Public Television stations.
* Rev. Christopher Witt will talk about loneliness and how to move from loneliness to love at 2 p.m. Sunday at the second lecture in The Joannes Series of talks for people who are separated, widowed and divorced. The two-hour program will be at Mercy High School, 1300 Northern Parkway; the fee is $4. Refreshments will be served and child care is available if you notify the school by tomorrow. For more information, phone 433-8880, Ext. 23.
* Dr. Lawrence Fishel will discuss "Caring for Aging Parents" at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bel Air Familycare Center in Emmorton. The program is sponsored by The Upper Chesapeake Health System.
* Caring for emotionally handicapped children and adolescents is the subject of a series of seminars being held around the state in the next few weeks. Designed for families, para-professionals and professionals, these sessions will focus on identifying crises, intervening in them and producing positive outcomes. The full seminar takes five days and costs $300, but participants can attend any number of sessions. The Baltimore-area seminar begins Monday in Towson. Subsequent seminars will be in Western Maryland, Nov. 4-8, and on the Eastern Shore, Nov. 11-15. For more information, phone Baltimore C.A.R.E.S., which is sponsoring the seminar, at 922-0448.
Family Forum welcomes items of interest to families. Notices about events must be received two weeks in advance. Send them to: Mary Maushard, Family Forum, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.