Are your offspring ready to go back to school? Football teams trained for their first big matches. Is there excitement in your family as you sort through last year’s school clothes and realize how much the kids have grown over the summer? There are shoes and socks to buy, school supply lists to fill out. There are plenty of extras in these shopping aisles to capture attention and you mentally count your total at the checkout.
There are other considerations. Will each child adapt easily to the class, to their new teachers, to other students? Some experts say there will always be resilient children and there will be others, not so much in these trying times we live in.
What are you doing to prepare for the return to the school routine in session? The Cleveland Clinic offers some suggestions for back-to-school anxiety.
How is your morning routine at home? Can you practice a bit and refine it so it’s not so stressful for you and the kids? What time should each child get up? What must be done before everyone can go out?
Some school districts hold an open house a few days before school opens. This is an opportunity to accompany your child through the school to find the right classroom, meet the teacher, find out which desk and locker will be theirs for the school year.
Give your child your full attention when he tries to talk to you about his concerns. Set aside all distractions, including electronic devices, so you can see and hear your child’s worries and concerns. They need your assurances because you’ve been around the block a time or two, so you understand what they’re up against. And when you’re all back home, sitting at the table or one-on-one with each child, ask about their day. Did something funny, interesting happen? What did they do? What was the best thing about their whole day? They learn from you, so when you deal with your stress constructively, they hone their life skills tools so they know how to deal with their own stress.
If you are worried about your child and how he is going to cope, contact the teacher. Let him know your concerns, what to watch out for, and how to walk away from the negative outcomes of the situation.
If children want to do their best to learn, they need enough sleep to rest. Nine to nine and a half hours per night is recommended. It’s tempting to have electronics in a bedroom, but it’s also not recommended. Electronics keep them awake longer. Mobile phones make it easy for young people to stay up late at night so they can’t get up to go to school the next morning.
Then there is healthy eating. Use the food pyramid as a reference. Breakfast is important because a long time has passed since supper the night before. You’ve heard it before, breakfast is “break the fast” and a good breakfast is important to keep the energy flowing until lunchtime. And no one can learn well if his brain is slow.
The summer vacation days are coming to an end. Spend time with your kids around a campfire or barbecue in the backyard, at the park, shooting hoops, casting your line in the lake. These are the best days of your life.
Family Recovery Center offers mental health services as well as addiction services. The goal is the health and well-being of all. For more information on education, prevention and treatment programs for drug addiction and related behavioral problems, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or by email, [email protected] Visit the website at familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded in part by Jobs and Family Services of Columbiana County.