By CRAIG GARRETT

Arcadian Editor

Nancy Diaz is gearing up for school. Her son’s.

Jonathan Flores heads into fifth-grade next Monday at West Elementary. His mother has prepared, getting ready for the adjustment she and other parents face each year when that first school bell rings.

DeSoto schools and the Florida Department of Health/DeSoto County held at Back to School Fair in late July to help families with supplies and other information for the new year. Volunteers, police, health workers, staff, parents and others helped make the day run more smoothly.

The Arcadian asked Nancy Diaz about preparing for school and her hopes for a 10-year-old child in today’s world.

Question: Ready for school?

Diaz: “Definitely not ready for school, because of the re-adjusting our time in the mornings—waking up earlier to get kids dressed and breakfast ready to be out the door by 7:10 a.m.”

Question: How long to get back in the groove?

Diaz: “When school starts, it usually takes us a couple of weeks.”

Question: Clothes, backpacks, do you mix fashion with a budget? Priorities for getting kids outfitted?

Diaz: “School clothes and school supplies are done with a budget, while staying up with fashion. Easy to do if you watch for those sales, clearance and coupons.”

Question: Kids get nervous about new classmates, teachers, whether they’ll fit in. The secret to easing that fear?

Diaz: “Reminding my son that everyone is just as nervous as he is and that if he is to just be himself (kind and helpful), he will make friends in no time.”

Question: What’s your policy on kid cellphones? What’s the right age?

Diaz: “I don’t think there is an appropriate age for a cellphone, rather than when you feel your child is responsible enough to have a cellphone. I also believe that once your child has a cellphone, it should be monitored by a parent to ensure they are using it appropriately.”

Question: Your child says he/she is being bullied? What’s the move?

Diaz: “Unfortunately we have dealt with bulling in the past. We brought it to the teacher’s attention, which led to a conference with the teacher, students and parents. We didn’t have any more issues after that.”

Question: Hopes for your child?

Diaz: “There’s so many hopes that I have for my son. I hope he makes new friends easily. But that if some kids don’t accept him, it’s OK. That’s their loss.

“I hope he remembers that he only needs one real good friend. I hope he is never scared to try new things. I hope he always gives his best and succeeds. But if he doesn’t succeed the first, second or even third time, he never gives up. I hope that he is never too hard on himself and patient with himself. I hope he is always positive. I hope he never forgets his manners and always has respect for others.

“But at the same time, I hope he never forgets that he has a voice too. I hope that when he finds himself nervous at any time, he just takes a breath. I hope others see him as I do … smart, kind, caring, funny, creative, respectful, helpful. But most importantly, I hope he always sees himself like I do.”

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