RETURNING TO ROUTINE: BACK TO SCHOOL
We know that returning our children to school is can be difficult as we are usually returning to routines. As you and your family get back to school, here are a few necessities to help with the process.
Bedtime routine: Make sure your child, even teenagers, is getting adequate sleep. Students with a lack of sleep will sometimes misbehave or have less motivation from a lack of energy. Follow this link for guidelines on sleep needs by age. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
Breakfast: Yes, you've heard it before, and it's true, breakfast is needed. Sometimes children and teens aren't hungry upon waking. Have ready-made options to take with them, or make sure your child arrives at school in time for breakfast. As a former school counselor, I summoned many snacks for students labeled a behavioral problem but simply needed nutrition.
Communication: Communicate with your academic and behavioral expectations. (My next post will give questions which questions to ask, and ways to communicate expectations.) Be willing to assist as needed but create autonomy as much as possible. Use your car ride to form bonds with your child. Perhaps listen to favorite songs or tell jokes.
Parent/child relationship: Leave them with love and kindness. Children attending school after being "fussed at" will not perform well. Imagine your boss criticizing you, then expecting you to perform well. Chances are, it won't happen. Of course, all parents make mistakes, but let's do our best to leave our children mentally prepared for the day's challenges.
Preparation: Model preparing the night before for school by preparing yourself for the best morning routine. We know emergencies pop up. However, helping children to have homework in backpacks and other necessary supplies will help ease their concerns.
Reach out: Speak to your child's teacher or school counselor when resources are needed academically or behaviorally.
Model, model, model: Remember you are your child's best teacher. Model the importance of reading by reading aloud to them or let your child see you reading often. Make use of your public library for family outings. Help children to understand math concepts when in the grocery stores or using measuring items in the kitchen.