Question of the day from a mother in Springfield, Illinois:
Dear Bulldog, How do I prepare my child for the first day of school? From an Advice Seeking Mom
Dear Advice Seeking Mom,
From back-to-school shopping for clothes and supplies to just plain getting back into the old routine there always seems to be a lot to do and a lot to keep track of when it comes to getting children ready for the new school year. Amidst all this organized chaos, it might seem difficult to take the right steps toward thoroughly being prepared for the coming school year without feeling stressed out or anxious about what still needs to be done. However, things don’t have to be difficult and we are here to help you with some quick and easy tips, as well as helpful words of advice!
Get a good night sleep. As cliché as this might sound, the key to starting any busy day is to waking up feeling rested. Not only does this have powerful physical benefits for the body, which includes fueling us with the energy we need to conquer the day, but it has very powerful mental/psychological benefits as well, which can help reduce stress and allow us to think more clearly and to stay focused. If your child does not have a bedtime routine, we highly recommend that you get them in the habit of getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night and possibly more if they are very young. Additionally, young children being of an impressionable age form most of their habits in their younger years, so if your children are quite young, now more than ever would be an appropriate time to get them in the swing of things when it comes to healthy sleep schedules.
Eat a healthy breakfast. With a good night sleep being important to your child’s health and wellbeing as they move onward into the coming school year, it is equally important for them to eat a well-balanced breakfast. This will give them the added fuel they need to take on the day and achieve greatness.
Prepare things at night so that you are not rushing in the morning. This is super important and one of the greatest pieces of advice we can give anyone struggling to stay organized throughout the school year and more. Taking the time to get everything together the night before a big day can help relieve the stress of rushing to put everything together in the morning, which can be an added source of lack of sleep, an inability to eat a healthy breakfast, greater possibility to forget important things like homework or a nutritious lunch, and just an overall added source of stress. Often times we make excuses for not having enough time to do things when in essence we have more than enough time—the greatest thing here is in really embracing accountability for our own time management, owning it, and being proactive about staying organized and being prepared.
Some preparation ideas might include: showering at night, making sure agenda books are checked for completed assignments and that all necessary books and assignments are properly stored back into your child’s book bag for the coming day, preparing lunches at night with perishables organized in the fridge while snacks and other dry goods are prepackaged in your child’s lunch bag so that all they have to do is grab and go, making sure lunch money is counted out and stored in your child’s book bag, setting an alarm clock ahead of time, etc. If your child is older, you can also reinforce the importance of responsibility and accountability in taking more of these preparations on by themselves.
Wishing you the best with this coming school year!