Is your child set up for a successful new school year? School success starts with creating healthy habits at home and sticking with them. School can be a significant producer of stress for children, so you must do what you can as a parent to help them be prepared. These healthy routines are great for keeping your family on track all school year long.
Create a successful homework environment.
Homework is such a bore, so make sure your child has a workstation that promotes focusing without any distractions. Make sure they have a well-lit workspace that is designated for studying and homework only. Devote an hour to schoolwork at the same time each day so that your child knows when it is time to get serious, and when it is time to have fun and play. If they are working on a big project, ensure they have adequate breaks to relax and alleviate neck, eye, and brain fatigue.
Stick to a sleep schedule.
Healthy sleep habits are integral to all student’s success, no matter what their age. A lack of sleep can result in memory problems, a depressed immune system, trouble focusing in class, and even mental and physical issues. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children have an upwards of 12 hours of sleep per night to operate at their highest. This includes having a consistent bedtime and wake time.
Plan healthy meals ahead of time.
How are you fueling your children for the day? Do you feed them sugary cereal for breakfast before a prepackaged meal for lunch? If so, it is time to start considering meal prep at the beginning of the week. Your child will not be successful in school if they are stuffing themselves with empty calories. Children should be getting plenty of fruits, veggies, and other high-quality foods at each meal to be their best. This will also make sure that your child makes healthy choices as an adult for what to eat.
Ensure proper hygiene techniques.
All children, even teens, need a reminder before the school year of the best ways to stay healthy in the classroom. This includes stopping the spread of germs through regular handwashing. This will help keep the stomach flu, colds, and the like out of your home. Additionally, create a routine for showers, brushing teeth, and the like. The better of a routine they have, the easier health checks at the doctors and dentists will be.
Be on the lookout for signs of stress.
Starting a new grade and getting into a new routine can create a lot of stress for a child. Homework, tests, and social pressures all can lead your child to feel overwhelmed. Make sure you know the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression in children and be on the lookout for them in your child. This can include difficulty concentrating, behavioral changes, change in appetite or sleep, and refusal to go to school. Having regular conversations with your kids about how they are feeling will also be a great indicator of what is going on.
Choose the right backpack.
Your mom may have bought you the cheapest backpack she could find back when you were in school, but in today’s classrooms, bags are heavier than ever before. Using the wrong pack or wearing one incorrectly can lead to back and neck pain in children. Make sure you prevent this problem by choosing a bag that fits your child correctly and distributes the weight evenly. If your child struggles to hold their bag, see what items you can swap out.
Get a yearly physical.
Before your child returns to school, make sure they have been checked out by a doctor. Are they up to date on all their shots? Do they need to get their teeth cleaned or eyes checked? While visits to the doctor are not always pleasant for your child, they are essential to ensure your child is healthy. If your child cannot see the blackboard or hear what their teacher is saying, then they cannot ever learn.
Just because summer is coming to an end does not mean that you should not get in tons of physical activity as a family. Your child being back at school means spending most of the day sitting at a desk. This can lead your child to feel lethargic and bored once they are home. Take a family bike ride, play basketball, or draw with chalk on the sidewalk. Do any activity that has your child up and off the couch away from video games and TV.
Starting a new school year is the perfect chance to get your whole family into a healthier routine. Parents and children can work together to ensure that kids are set up for success at school – getting great sleep and heart-healthy meals. Start implementing these healthy habits into your routine during the summer, so that the first day of school is a breeze.