The start of a new school year brings about both excitement and hesitation as we embark on a new beginning. To make your experience a positive one for both you and your child there are some tips that can help ensure a successful year!
Proper rest is essential to your child’s overall development. Setting a bedtime routine that allows for adequate sleep will help your child wake up happy and well-rested. When your child is well rested, they are better able to adjust to a new routine and enjoy their day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: Infants under 1 year: 12-16 hours; Children 1-2 years old: 11-14 hours; Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours, (including naps) Keeping those averages in mind it is important to make sure your child can get the proper amount of rest. It is also important for you as the parent to be well-rested, so remember tale care of yourself too!
A healthy diet is another important factor in your child’s success at school and toward their overall development. Children need well balanced and healthy meals to properly develop. Making sure your child has a good breakfast and lunch will increase their ability to have a successful year. Children also need to be hydrated so offering plenty of water and limiting sugary drinks and foods contributes to their overall health.
Routines are essential, especially for young children and are important for children of every age. Routines create predictability and security for children and help make things more manageable because our children know what to expect. Creating a routine for bedtime, morning time, mealtime etc. will allow your child to become comfortable and will allow for a smoother transition. A bedtime routine that includes bath and storytime is a great way to
help your child relax and settle down for the night promoting a good night’s sleep. Waking up in plenty of time each morning eliminates rushing around and creating a stressful environment before you even get out the door. Set routines will help make your morning drop off go better each day.
A Drop-off Routine can help with separation anxiety and makes it less stressful and more predictable. Come up with something familiar and talk about it in advance. Practice it and use it anytime you are leaving your child somewhere, especially at school. An example could be “give me one hug and a kiss and then it’s time to go to class.” Remember to let them know you will be back soon. You can use anything that you come up with to help ease your child into their day.
Communication is another key to success. Communicate both with your child and their teacher/school to help ensure your child has the best experience possible. Especially if your child is younger and cannot communicate well yet on their own it is critical that communication be open and ongoing between parents and teachers. Talk with your child about school and what to expect. If they are old enough to talk, ask them about school and about their day. It is never too early to start communicating with your child.
Remember, give your child and your family time to adjust to a new routine, especially if this is their first time going back to school since the pandemic began. Many families have been spending more time at home and together with many parents working form home too. Transitioning back to a routine can be more difficult than usual, so give yourself and your child time! Eventually, the routine will be in place and you will be off to a great new year