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Preparing your children to go back to school
School is going back and with it comes the rushed mornings, lunchbox preparation and the moaning about getting out of bed. School term can be chaotic but having a routine can help make going back to school a breeze.
Make it easier for yourself and your children by establishing a back to school sleep schedule. Sleep is important for the health and wellbeing of your children. It helps them focus at school, can help improve their mood and makes getting up in the morning much easier to deal with.1 Consider starting a new bedtime routine at least one week prior to the school term so the habit is well established before the first day back.
Have a before and after school routine
Having a before and after school routine helps ease the stress and anxiety of running late or forgetting something. For example, an afternoon routine may go as follows; unpack the school bag and lunchbox, eat a healthy snack, do the chores, complete homework and then free time before dinner. However every family and child is different, so you may need to be flexible and create a routine that suits you and your family.
Create a family calendar
When trying to juggle everyone’s schedule, it’s a good idea to keep track of events, birthdays and school functions on the family calendar, as this will help you stay organised. This can be done by hanging one in the family room or making one virtually by using your phone calendar or an app. If your children are old enough you can even send them a calendar invite or invite them to contribute to the calendar.
Ease any anxiety
Some children can experience varying degrees of anxiety about starting a new school, a new grade or the thought of having a new teacher. This is why talking to them and asking them how they are feeling can be important to ease their concerns. Small concerns may seem very big to children, so try not to dismiss these feelings but reassure them that it is normal to feel this way.
A good time to start preparing for the school day is the night before, as it can help ease the stress of chaotic mornings. You can prepare for the school day by prepping lunch boxes, laying out school clothes and filling up water bottles or packing bags.
Healthy lunch box ideas
Packing healthy food for the school day can help your child’s energy, mood and function.2 This is why a healthy lunch box can provide the nutrients needed for your child to perform at their best. When packing a balanced and healthy lunch box, remember to choose foods from a variety of food groups, and include healthy options such as fruit and vegetable sticks and a sandwich or other healthy grains.
The first few days of the school year can be extra stressful as you and your child settle into a new routine. It may take a while before everyone can really relax and enjoy the school year.
Blog post written by Complete Corporate Wellness. Visit their website: https://www.completecorporatewellness.com.au/
- Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, “Fact Sheet”, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/fact-sheet-healthy-sleep-children/
- Healthy eating advisory science, “The link between food, mood and learning outcomes”, Healthy eating advisory science, heas.health.vic.gov.au/schools/classroom/food-mood-and-learning
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