Back To School Tips To Help Your Children Get A Great Start!
Summertime is coming to an end, and with that comes all of the back to school anxiety and jitters that are common amongst children. Your child may experience common physical effects of anxiety associated with back to school time including symptoms from stomach aches to sleeping problems.
They will also experience emotional stress from the fear of making new friends, meeting new teachers, fears of being bullied, pressure of making good grades, and worries of being unpopular. With that said, it important for parents to first remember that these physical and emotional feelings are very common, and even the most well-adjusted kids are bound to feel some sort of pressure when they return to school.
The question becomes: what can parents do to help their children cope with the physical and emotional stresses associated with the back to school season?
Tip #1: Put your child on a healthy sleeping pattern right away!
Children need at least 8 to 10 hours of REM sleep each night.
Children that do not get adequate sleep the night before tend to be groggy, grumpy, and thus have a harder time concentrating in class, not to mention tend to become more sensitive to social disputes. Sleep also contributes to a healthier immune system. You can help your child enter each school day with a more energetic and positive approach simply by making sure they get the right amount of sleep each night.
Here’s how to set a healthy sleeping pattern with your children:
Establish a set bedtime and wake time for the weekdays. Make sure that you specify that this time is non-negotiable.
Set up some rules for 1 hour prior to bedtime. There are many things that can affect how well your children sleep at night. If you set up some ground rules, then you’ll see better sleeping habits:
Make sure they eat dinner no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. If they eat just before bed time, then chances are they will not fall asleep right away. Your child can have a warm glass of milk or some fruit just before bed if they are hungry.
Cut out all physical activities no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. Children need adequate downtime to get their heart rate down.
Cut out any intense “stimulating” activities no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. This includes video games and computers. Both can be very addictive and keep your child’s mind over-stimulated even after they’ve stopped.
Establish a 20 – 30-minute nightly “calm-down” bed time routine. The routine should include taking a bath, putting on their pajamas, reading, and other relaxing activities.
TV viewing at bedtime is not recommended because it may affect your child’s ability to fall asleep. It helps to set the school sleep schedule several weeks before school starts.
Tip #2: Put your child on a brain-strengthening diet
Not all diets are for weight loss. Even children that have great athletic physiques are susceptible to the after-effects of poor eating habits, including fatigue, anxiety, poor concentration, and mood swings. You can help your child feel better each school day simply by adjusting their diet and getting rid of foods and snacks that are counter-productive.
Here are some healthy eating tips:
- Purge the bad foods in your house. Open your refrigerator and get rid of the foods you know are unhealthy for your children including sodas and snacks that are high in sugar.
- Create a healthy menu. Sit down with your child and create a breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack menu together. Create at least three different healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and snack time and allow them to choose what they want to eat each day. If your children help with the process, they will be more intrinsically motivated to stick with the diet. You can make it fun by having them design a fun menu with their meal options and also have them go to the grocery store and help pick out all of the ingredients. If you are struggling with how to create a proper diet, do some research or speak with a licensed dietician that can help make a list of heart and brain-healthy foods. Generally, whole foods are much better than processed foods.
- Lead by example. If your children see you eating unhealthy foods then you are contradicting what you say. Children are smart, and they will fight you on this subject if you don’t lead by example yourself. On the bright side, this is a great way for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle too!
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Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.
Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for martial arts instruction for 8 consecutive years in a row.
Sensei Feldt is a certified instructor for C.O.B.R.A., a worldwide self-defense, and personal protection program. SKS offers Active Shooter Training, Real Estate Safety, 10 Week Self Defense Academies, Bully Workshops, and Child Safety Camps.
We also provide corporate safety training.
Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars
Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made
up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is be ing bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-250-6234 or email us at: [email protected]
Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.
You can check out our kids program here: SKS Kids
Learn more about our amazing adult program here: SKS Adults
We even have a preschool program for your little ones: Little Samurai