Think about the people you work with; the varied personalities, the nice and not nice, the ones who care and the ones who don’t, the ones who are happy most of the time and the ones who always find something to complain about most of the time. Think about the emotional environment of your job that you spend all day in and how it affects your outlook on life in general, on your perception of yourself and how you act and react in work and at home. Next, consider the same above types of people and emotional environments of the school and classes your children spend all day in. Schools usually have 3 to 5 more times the population of people to deal with than you do at work. Schools have more possibilities for negative stress, bullying, depressing environments and people getting away with aggressiveness toward others than anyone could ever get away with where you work. Have you ever noticed a difference in your children’s behaviors between the school months and the summer vacation months ? Do not blame your child for becoming more negative, fearful, sad, depressed, angry or careless during the school months because it is more than likely due to the environment of school where they have way less control of who to be around and where to be than they have in the summertime. And if you notice your child showing signs of the dark side of life, be aware and do something about it; help them with the school work, help them understand what they can do and how to do it with regard to relating to crowds and to people who are not nice, about people and situations they are forced to relate to every day. Make sure they have fun, happiness, and safety at home. Let home become the salve and heart medicine to heal and recover the spirit each week. I have noticed during my teaching years one really important result of school environments; 95% of parents do not like entering a school for any reason and less so for meetings with teachers for any reason. You know why because you are likely to be one of those parents who enter schools with an inner wariness or defensiveness or expectation that you will leave with sad or bad news. Every year at parent-teacher conference time in every school I taught in the staff was told to make the experience good for the parents, stay positive, show the upbeat side of life. Now, why do you think we had to be told that; it is because that is not the norm for most school daily environments. So, be aware for your child, for their well being, for your own safety and happiness, too, because how your child feels in school shows in their actions and moods at home. Children do not get “breaks” like adults do at work. At work, you can get away for a while during your lunch break. At school, you are shoved into the greatest crowd of people at lunchtime and recess time. Just be aware of your child’s emotional well being. That’s my safety-first service message for parents as the new school year approaches.