Simple tips and tricks to help your child adjust to the new school year

School-yearThe school year has officially begun, and while you may be stocked up on school supplies, there is more you can do to help your children prepare. Here are a few tips to help make this school year the best. First and foremost, you should start practicing mindfulness. While you are excited to get your kids out of the house and back in class, they might not be as eager. Your child might be quite anxious right now, whether it be their first year or their fifth year in school. Mindfulness, or the practice of paying attention to what’s going on inside and around you, may help.  Exercises often involve soft breathing, slow movements, and taking notice of how you feel. Such exercises can help your children regulate their emotions and learn how to respond in healthier ways. In turn, this could lead to better behavior as well as higher grades. A simple way to introduce your child to mindfulness is through a glitter jar. When they shake the jar, the glitter swirls around, much like the thoughts of an anxious mind. As the glitter settles, have your kids breathe slowly, thus showing that just like the glitter, their emotions can settle with some healthy relaxation and mindfulness techniques.

Another key to maintaining a healthy environment during the school year is by making time for play and relaxation.  Exercising and down time are just as important as studying. In fact, research shows that kids 6 years and older should have at least an hour of physical activity every day, coupled with at least ten minutes of pure relaxation that can help with stress management. Relaxation, exercise, nutrition, and sleep are the four pillars of health, and they work together to keep your mind and body healthy.  It is vital to keep all four balances, as disrupting one impacts your ability to sustain the others. One of these pillars, nutrition, is not only important, for your child’s health, but for bringing the family together as well.  Family meals have shown to boost a child’s language skills, lower their stress, and even improve the chances they eat more fruits and vegetables. Additionally, healthy food can affect our mood, as it helps the production of “feel-good” neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin. Nutritious foods consist of leafy greens, beans, whole grains, fruit and eggs, carefully combining these various products to produce a healthy meal for your whole family.

The school year is the perfect time to correct habits that may have gone to the wayside over the summer. For instance, if your kids took a break this summer from brushing their teeth twice a day, now is the time to resume the habit.  In fact, poor oral health can lead to missed school days as well as lower grades. To keep their teeth healthy, experts recommend brushing up to 2 minutes twice a day and floss at least once a day. One fun way to get your kids interested in brushing their teeth is by encouraging them to brush away the “sugar bugs.” Finally, make sure your kids are getting a good night’s sleep as it is important for their growth and development, as well as their health and wellbeing. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, your children should get between 9-12 hours of sleep if they are between the ages of 6 and 12, and 8-10 hours if they are between the ages of 13 and 18. These simple tips and tricks can help your kids quickly adjust to the new school year, as well as increase their ability to deal with the emotions and stress that come with each day of classes.

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