STATEWIDE — Your children have spent the summer soaking up the sun, hanging out with friends and maybe staying up later than usual. But, now it’s time to get ready for back to school.
Child Development Physician at Riley Children’s Health, Dr. Bill Beechler has some tips on how you can prepare you kid for back to school, beat the nerves and avoid the end of summertime blues.
Dr. Beechler says a lot of things can cause anxiety for your child when it’s time to go back to school. One of the major ones is the change in schedule. He recommends that families get back into a regular bedtime routine about a week before school starts.
Toronto Public Health says that children between the ages 5 to 12 need around 10 to 11 hours each night, and suggest having a bedtime routine.
Part of this routine could be asking your child how their day was. Dr. Beechler says children need time to decompress after school.
“It’s amazing at bedtime how open kids will be,” Dr. Beechler says, “just you being there with them gives them that opportunity to really talk about their day.”
Another thing parents can do is try to find out when school lunches are and adjust when kids eat at home so they can get used to the new lunch schedule.
Dr. Beechler says if after the first couple weeks after the schedule is set your child is still having a rough time talk with the teachers.
He says especially switching from 3rd to 4th grade can be difficult because they expect kids to read fluently, so there’s less reading support. If you notice your child’s grades are lower than normal don’t be afraid to ask the teacher for an assessment just to make sure reading skills are okay.
“You’ll get that little spider sense in the back of your head,” Dr. Beechler says.
Dr. Beechler also has advice for the kids, “All those emotions, all those doubts, all those things you worry about everyone else is going through it. I think it’s important to really find the kids that enjoy the same things you do. Make sure to keep talking to your teachers, and your parents. Don’t ever try to take things on your own.”
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