Summer is over for many kids, and as a parent, whether you’re shedding tears or jumping with the joy at your kids heading back to school, you should also be thinking about all the things that will help give them the very best start to their year.
Back to school is about more than just new jeans, the coolest sneakers and fancy pens – while you prep your lengthy list for the mall, don’t forget to make a separate one that will ensure your child is healthy, happy and emotionally ready to face their first day. And remember, what applies to them, usually applies to you, too. The back to school routine can be as tough for parents as it is for kids…
1. Bring Back the Bedtime
Switching from summer hours to early bedtimes and wakeups is often the toughest part of the back to school routine. But it’s important to remember that a good night’s sleep is one of the fundamentals to staying healthy and keeping stress levels down during the transition and throughout the year.
The best technique for getting back to bedtime is that you can’t go from zero to 100 in a single day. Even though it might seem like a cruel form of punishment, easing your kids back into going to bed early a week or two before school starts is far more gentle than ripping the band aid off all at once. If it helps, set the bedtime early, but allow calm activities like reading or playing with soft toys in bed—but be sure to keep electronics and television at bay. Studies continue to show that electronics before sleep can lead to disrupted sleep and fatigue the next day.