It’s important for kids to adjust to a routine before school starts. Try easing in to your school year schedule at least a week before classes begin.
“Young children especially thrive on consistency and routine,” Jaclyn says. “Before school starts, readjust bedtime, morning routines and schedules to mirror school time to help children adjust.”
Jessie agrees that rest is important for growing minds. Sleep helps us to process the information we learn throughout the day.
“Encourage your kids to go to bed at the same time each night,” she says. “Since light – especially artificial light from things like TV, smartphone, and tablet devices – suppresses melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep, limiting screen time before bed is important in helping your kiddos get quality rest.”
Are family meals already part of your family’s daily routine? If not, consider sitting together at least three times per week. Trust us, this routine can benefit everyone.
“Parents are busy, and school days are tough,” Jaclyn says. “The demands can be overwhelming when you are managing jobs, meals, homework, after school activities and trying to connect with your kids. Families who work more than two jobs can especially feel this pressure. Sometimes the best way to center all of that it is to sit together at the table, talk, and connect. It is equally, if not more, important than what is on the table. So even if it’s take-out, sitting together just three times per week can have incredible benefits.”
Everyone agrees that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for young kids. Studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast perform and learn better. When breakfast at home isn't available, school breakfast programs can make a big difference. If your schedules don’t allow for frequent family dinners, Jaclyn suggests making breakfast your family mealtime. Talking and connecting with your kids will act as a meaningful start to the day.
Juggling everyone’s schedules can be trying, so don’t forget to take care of yourself.
“Between wake-ups, drop-offs, and packing lunches, the hustle and bustle of getting back into the school routine can be stressful for parents, too,” Jessie says. “My ideas for decreasing stress include deep breathing, meditating, going for a walk, yoga, and talking with friends and loved ones.”
Don’t let heading back to school stress you or your family out! Talk with your kids about any difficulties they have, embrace a consistent routine, and make this school year the healthiest and happiest yet.
“You’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”
- Dr. Seuss