8 (Free!) Things Your Kid Needs on the First Day of School
Despite what kids say—usually with pleading, desperate eyes—an iPad or a pair of $200 jeans isn't really going to help them on the most anxiety-inducing day of the year. Here's what will.
A Completed Summer-Reading List
Who wants to badger their kid about finishing The Age of Innocence while you're on your one week off from work at the beach? Not me! You can tell yourself that not hassling your kids about summer reading will help them self-motivate and teach them independence, but that is a lie—a fat, honking lie. Most kids will self-motivate about sleeping in,
meeting the opposite gender, and getting over to the friend's house who has a Wii and a bulk carton of Pop-Tarts. On these fronts, let them sink or swim. But summer reading is not ever, ever going to occur to them as "something I should do to have a better life." Kids are just like us. They want to read trashy vampire novels during the summer. The only way you are going to get them to read The Old Man and the Sea is to bother the crap out of them daily. Thankfully, having done so, not only will they be better educated, they will also avoid the embarrassment of admitting to their teacher that they didn't do the reading this year, which I can tell you from personal experience, sets off all kind of bells about who needs extra special attention for the rest of the year.