Countdown To School: How Students (And Parents) Can Adjust Psychologically

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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:

  1. Finalize that physical. It’s a great way to check in with a medical professional about your child’s health, development and behavior.
  2. Start the school day with a healthy breakfast. Fruits, eggs, non-sugary cereals and yogurt make for energetic starters!
  3. Stay safe at the bus stop: stop, look, and listen before crossing the street or stepping off the sidewalk.
  4. Remind kids to keep the bus aisles clear of backpacks and large musical instruments.
  5. If kids are walking to school, make sure they buddy up.
  6. They should ONLY walk in routes that trusted adults have approved. Sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and crossing lights are a must
  7. Remind them to NEVER take shortcuts or talk to strangers.
  8. For packed lunches, add fun, healthy alternatives like veggies and hummus. Trade sugary juice drinks for bottled water.
  9. To prevent colds and other viruses, encourage kids to wash hands before and after both eating and bathroom breaks.
  10. Set up homework space that is well-lit, quiet area free from the noise of TV and other electronic distractions.
  11. Schedule specific homework times – and stick to it.
  12.  Add fun to after-school snacks and introduce nutritious foods like fruit kebobs and graham crackers with yogurt dip.
  13.  Designate a “snack zone” in your home and store pre-portioned, healthy snacks in an easily accessible area.
  14. Have the kids walk or throw a Frisbee or juggle a soccer ball in the yard to reduce stress and perform better in school.
  15. Arrange bedtime routines around calming activities like reading. Eight hours of restful sleep a night gets kids on track for a lifetime.


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