new school year

5 Things Dads Need to Do at the Start of the New School Year

While entering a new school year, being a dad is both an amazing privilege and a mind-numbing responsibility. Often it’s both at exactly the same time. School can be a mystery to dads, especially if in your family, your kids’ mom handles most of the day-to-day routine. But we’re men, and it’s in our nature to want to make a difference. So let’s do that.

It’s easy to shoot from the hip and make a mess, but we should take this opportunity to develop an action plan. No matter if your kid’s in kindergarten or starting his or her senior year of high school, there’s practical stuff a dad can do that will make a difference. Here are 5 things dads need to do at the start of the new school year.

1. Volunteer for something ASAP.

The school is going to need you. It makes sense to sign up now and choose what you want to do before the crunch comes. Additionally, the school will immediately know you care and that you’re involved.

2. Thank your kid’s teacher and establish clear lines of communication.

Nobody wants the first communication to be when someone is confused or upset. Get ahead of this one by making yourself known, knowing the teacher(s), and establishing clear lines.

3. Do homework with your kids (not theirs, yours).

This is huge. Sit down and do a work project or the bills at the same table, or churn out some correspondence, or read a good book. Model and share the fact that homework is worthwhile and you do it too.

4. Back off! Make it your kid’s responsibility, not yours, to stay on top of things.

Being aware is not the same as doing it for them. Help your kids develop responsibility by expecting them to follow through and monitoring their progress.

5. Take a long hard look at breakfast and how they start the day.

The cliche is that breakfast is brain food. It’s not just what the kids eat but how they eat. No screen time, actually seated, engaged in conversation. In other words, set the ball rolling in the right direction from the outset. One of the best ways to start the day with breakfast is to attend an All Pro Dad chapter at your child’s school. If you want to see if your child’s school has a chapter, click here. If you would like to look into what it would take to start one, click here.

Sound off: Which one of these do you think will make the most difference in your child’s life?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What about this school year gets you excited?”