Back-to-school can be stressful for many children and families. Use these five tips to help your child, and yourself, be ready for school.
- Stay up-to-date. The National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends parents take their child for a physical and eye exam before school starts. Most schools require up-to-date immunizations and may need documentation. To learn more about immunizations for back-to-school, register for our webinar here.
- Get everyone on a schedule. Children find comfort in routine. “A regular routine will give a sense of control to both parent and child,” says Kathy Eugster, child and family counselor. Get back into bedtime and dinner and other routines about one week before school begins. If you child has questions, be sure to talk to them and make them feel comfortable with the upcoming transition.
- Visit the school. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends that if your child is starting at a new school, visit the school with your child. Meet the teacher, tour the school grounds and find the classroom. This will ensure that your child feels safe moving into a new school or class. Call ahead to make sure the teacher will be available to meet your child when you arrive.
- Let your children know you care. Put a personal note in their lunch box or backpack. Make sure you are always available to listen and talk about the change or answer any questions going into the first day of school and beyond. (Tip from NASP)
- Make time for breakfast. Eating breakfast before you head out the door will boost your energy and help you keep your focus on the day ahead. Here are a few healthy suggestions from the American Institute for Cancer Research:
- A nonfat or lowfat yogurt parfait layered with fresh fruit and cereal, nuts or raisins
- Lowfat yogurt mixed with fresh fruit in a blender for a vitamin-rich smoothie
- Whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter and banana slices
- Instant or quick-cooking oatmeal or whole grain cold cereal with raisins or fresh fruit and lowfat dairy or soy milk
- Fish, such as leftover salmon, on a whole grain bagel with reduced or nonfat cream cheese
- Homemade bran or fruit and nut muffins, made on the weekend and frozen.