Back To School: Tips to help you and your child have a successful school year!

Back To School: Tips to help you and your child have a successful school year!

Back To School:
Tips to help you and your child have a successful school year!

It seems like with only a blink of an eye the past three fun-filled summer months have come and now vanished. The start of a new school year brings about lots of excitement, yet it can also induce stress emotions in those first few weeks. Having a game plan in place can help minimize those stressful moments.

Communication: The first days and weeks back are the toughest. highlight the positives of starting school. Encourage your child to be open about their feelings of starting school and let them know you and their teachers are available to support them. Share your own experiences with them.

SLEEP: If you haven’t started already begin a consistent bedtime routine. Move the bedtime up by 15 minutes every day until you're at an ideal time for your child depending on their age. In short, younger school-aged children should have between 10-12 hours of sleep at night whereas high school students should have 8-10 hours. Here is a link to the latest endorsement by the American Academy of Pediatrics for adequate age-appropriate sleep times.

▷ Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)

▷ Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)

▷ Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)

▷ Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours

▷ Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

EATING: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that children function better, have better concentration and energy when starting their days with a healthy breakfast. A healthy breakfast should be high in protein. Encourage healthy food choices for lunch and after school snacks as well.

HOMEWORK: Try to establish an environment for homework early on. This space should be quiet and free from distractions. Schedule ample time. Be available to help but do not do the work for them. Praise your child’s work.

BACKPACKS: Choose the right fit. Make sure your child is using both shoulder pads. It shouldn’t hang down past the waistline nor be heavier than 10-20% of your child’s body weight. Discuss with the school if rolling bags are allowed if your child has a heavier load. to carry.

BE INVOLVED: Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and administration early on. They will know how supportive you are of the school experience. Try to attend any available orientations or tours that are offered. Set apart time to allow them to discuss their day with you.

WELL CHILD EXAM: Remember to schedule a well-child check-up with your pediatrician. Schools require updated immunization records and health assessment forms to be on file. It is also important to have an updated dental and eye exam

SCREEN TIME: Let your child know you support the school's policy about electronic use. Encourage them to keep their phones in their lockers. Phones and other handheld electronics shouldn't be used during homework time unless it is needed to complete their assignments.

SCHEDULES: Keep a schedule of daily activities during the week, especially for younger children. Be sure to allow for physical activities ………

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Author: Dr. Catricia Tilford, Pediatrician