In the coming days just about everybody that wakes up with us on the Bruce and the Kennel Club show will be dealing with back to school issues. If you're a parent it's going to be a cranky, groggy, cantankerous child. If you're not a parent it's going to be more traffic on the roads during your morning commute.

For all of us there will be buses and kids on the street. There will be flashing school zone signs and motorcycle cops with radar guns. There will be the gnashing of teeth and the calling in of favors for those of us that get busted using a cell phone in school zone. Yep, that cell phone thing is a law now and you are going to be quite angry when it happens to you or your kid, just know you have been warned.

Because I like you and I think we see eye to eye on a lot of things I thought I would drop in a few helpful hints on how to make this school year a great year for you and your kids.

Drink a glass of water and eat something in the morning: Your body has been chilling out for a few hours and it needs water. It really does. Drink at least a glass of water when you wake up. You should also eat something in the morning. It doesn't have to be eggs and bacon or boudin balls from Don's but your body needs a kick start. If your kids are groggy in the morning feed them apple slices. Apples have has much caffeine as a cup of coffee and it won't make them jittery.

Do not use your snooze button: I can see that obscene gesture you just gave me, that's uncalled for. So is using your snooze button. 9 more minutes of sleep will make you feel worse than it will make you feel better. Your body doesn't function like that. Snooze buttons are the biggest lie in the bedroom. Okay, second biggest lie in the bedroom. Go ahead and wake up, get out of bed, and get the day started. Use the 9 minutes to drink a glass of water, eat something, do some stretches, a few pushups or dance around the bed room to your favorite song on 97.3 The Dawg.

Check your voice mail or phone messages: I promise if you live in Lafayette Parish and have kids in public school somebody from the school has called and left a message. Most of the time the information they leave is the exact same stuff your kid forgot to tell you about. The school system does a good job on their automated phone tree of making sure that parents get important information. It does you no good if you don't get the message or don't get the information until the following Saturday.

Print out and post the school calendar:  I know you can see it online. I know you can get it on your phone. I know you need it posted on a wall or refrigerator in your home. Those crazy in service days and conference days can sneak up on you. Sometimes it seems like the kids get days off for no great reason and that can cause a lot of problems for the unsuspecting parent, especially if you have to find a place to stash the little ones.

Some educators don't know how to tell time: I learned the hard way that Mr. Walker the band director at Lafayette High has his own time zone. I didn't like it, but I understood why he has to have it. Many other group activities won't end on time and if you're driving car pool or in charge of pick up you might as well plan for some in car downtime. In the case of Mr. Walker that could be two or three hours. Use this time to check your Facebook, take a short nap, or rebuild a carburetor.  The kids will eventually be dismissed and you can get on with the business of grilling them on what homework they have and when that science project is due.

Cherish the moment for the moments sake: My two kids are basically grown. Jack is a sophomore in college and Anna is a junior in high school. The days of them needing me to attend a meeting or a performance or pick them up is just about passed. Some of the greatest conversations I've ever had have been in the car after school. It's a great time to get to know your kids. It's a great time to get interested in what they are interested in. It's a great time that you won't have forever, all to soon it will be gone and the school will just be a building you drive by on your way to an empty house.

Here's is to hoping that you will have a great school year. I hope your kids will make the most of the opportunity that is set before them. I hope you will realize that every time that school bell rings it's another hour closer to another chapter in your life, don't be late for it.


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