Everyone needs time to adjust to summer’s end and the start of school — teacher, parents and especially kids.
Child psychologist Dr. Laura Saunders from Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living has your guide for making that transition as smooth as possible – and what to do if the adjustment isn’t seamless.
Some back-to-school reminders:
- Finalize that physical. It’s a great way to check in with a medical professional about your child’s health, development and behavior.
- Start the school day with a healthy breakfast. Fruits, eggs, non-sugary cereals and yogurt make for energetic starters!
- Stay safe at the bus stop: stop, look, and listen before crossing the street or stepping off the sidewalk.
- Remind kids to keep the bus aisles clear of backpacks and large musical instruments.
- If kids are walking to school, make sure they buddy up.
- They should ONLY walk in routes that trusted adults have approved. Sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and crossing lights are a must
- Remind them to NEVER take shortcuts or talk to strangers.
- For packed lunches, add fun, healthy alternatives like veggies and hummus. Trade sugary juice drinks for bottled water.
- To prevent colds and other viruses, encourage kids to wash hands before and after both eating and bathroom breaks.
- Set up homework space that is well-lit, quiet area free from the noise of TV and other electronic distractions.
- Schedule specific homework times – and stick to it.
- Add fun to after-school snacks and introduce nutritious foods like fruit kebobs and graham crackers with yogurt dip.
- Designate a “snack zone” in your home and store pre-portioned, healthy snacks in an easily accessible area.
- Have the kids walk or throw a Frisbee or juggle a soccer ball in the yard to reduce stress and perform better in school.
- Arrange bedtime routines around calming activities like reading. Eight hours of restful sleep a night gets kids on track for a lifetime.