Kids and their parents may be filled with anxiety as they head back to school.
We have 4 tips that you can start right now to ensure your children have a successful school year. And with the help of a pediatrician and a mom of 4, we learned how even the busiest parents can make them work.
The school day starts the night before in the Huffman household, as the children lay out their clothes for the next day.
"Everything from hair bows to socks and shoes," said Brittany Huffman.
Tip #1: Remember your routine.
And make sure the kids know it too. Pediatrician Carrie Brown at Children's Hospital says write it down.
"Sometimes with smaller kids, pictures help," said Dr. Brown. "If you can, put a picture of a clock next to what it is you're going to be doing at that time."
Tip #2: Serve a nutritious breakfast.
Frozen waffles are the usual choice at the Huffman house. But there are better options that include the mix of protein, carbs, and fat kids need to focus and stay full.
"Quick and easy, if your child's not peanut allergic, peanut butter toast, and a piece of fruit," said Dr. Brown. "A peanut butter and banana sandwich, a bagel with cream cheese on it... a combo of foods you can grab and run out the door with."
Tip #3? Get a good night's sleep.
So just how much do they really need?
"Plenty of sleep for school age kids truly means 12 hours up to 5th grade," Dr. Brown said. "Now most kids are not getting that much. If you come into the doctor's office, we'll tell you please try to get at least 10."
A 7:30pm bedtime is strictly enforced for the Huffman kids.
"Yep, 12 hours," said Huffman. "They don't do well if they don't have an adequate amount of sleep."
Tip #4: Ease your child's anxiety.
Talk to your kids about what to expect the first day, emphasizing the positives. And be sure to stay tuned in throughout the year.
"Keep the dialogue going," said Dr. Brown." "And if there's anything that's different in their behavior, make sure you say, 'Hey, what happened today? Is there something bothering you?'"
Huffman said, "At night when we eat dinner, we have a thing called highs and lows, and we find out what's gone on that day that's been great and what's not been so great."
Dr. Brown says also keep the dialogue going with your child's teacher. That way, if you notice any changes in your child's behavior, you can talk with them about it too.