Here Comes A New School Year!

Back to school stress

I hate to discuss school in August but I must, as there are several To Dos that will make the start of school a little less stressful for everyone.

  1. Varsity and JV Sports.
    The sports season kicks off on Monday, 18th. In order for your child to participate on the first day of the tryouts, she must have a physical exam form that is up to date. All physical exam forms are good for one year. If it has been more than one year since your child’s last physical, CALL NOW and book an appointment. Don’t wait until 8:00 am on Monday August 18th.
  2.  Modified Sports.
    The modified sports season usually starts on the first day of school. Check your child’s school calendar for the fall modified sports schedule. If your child is planning on participating in a fall sport; make sure their most recent physical is up to date.
  3. Sleep.
    Summer is a wonderful time to stay up later at night and enjoy our longer days without the need to get up early the next morning. I always loved the relaxed evenings and easy mornings of summer; however it does take a few days to a week to get the kids’ sleep cycles back into school mode. Start about 1 week before the first day of school to reset their sleep cycle. Move bedtime up 15 minutes each night and wake them up 15 minutes earlier each day until you get to your goal hours.This also applies to older kids and teenagers too. Sleep deprivation is unfortunately the norm for middle and high school students with their very early mornings. Each October we see a many teens who don’t feel well because they are exhausted and sleep deprived.Have the bedroom be an electronic free zone! Make it a family rule that no cell phones, iPads, tablets, computers or TVs are allowed in the bedroom. It is amazing how many texts, phone calls, and Instagrams kids get in the middle of the night from their friends!How much sleep is enough? We get asked that a lot. All the sleep experts say that you are getting enough sleep when you wake on your own. So if your 10 year old goes to bed at 9:00 pm and needs to wake up at 7:30 am but is sleeping soundly each morning at 7:30, he needs to go to bed at 8:30 pm. You repeat this process until he wakes up spontaneously at 7:30 am or earlier. Note: science has never been able to explain why kids wake up earlier on the weekend when they won’t wake up on school days!
  4. Illness.
    Studies show very conclusively that the best way to prevent illness is good hand washing! K – 3rd grade are the winners for the grades with the most illnesses/class so be sure to remind your kids to wash their hands before eating and after the bathroom breaks. Getting a flu shot in the fall is a great way to avoid influenza, which is usually the worst illness of the year, and most kids miss about a week of school when infected. Additionally, getting enough sleep is critical for staying healthy. (See #3 above)
  5. School work/studying.
    Before school starts, sit down with your school age kids and discuss homework plans for the upcoming school year. Set aside a quieter place where there is enough room to work on homework and to study and where you can supervise and be available if there are questions. Remove all cell phones, iPads and tablets so that there aren’t any electronic disruptions. There was a recent study done which looked at the time to re-engage with mental work after an interruption from a text, email or phone call. On average it took 8 minutes to get back to mental work after an interruption from an electronic device! When my kids were in high school it was not unusual for them to receive 5 texts during an hour so that would have been 40 minutes out of an hour of studying that was wasted! When your kids complain that they are having trouble concentrating or they can’t seem to remember the material they are studying; they don’t have ADD, take the electronics away during study periods!.
  6. School anxiety/avoidance.School anxiety or avoidant behavior is very common for all ages. Kids have a lot of mental work to do all day long and it can be daunting and exhausting. Take a look at Kristin Campe’s blog about this topic.
  7. Enjoy the last several weeks of summer!!!!!!