Ready or Not, Here It Comes

27 Jul

Over the next five weeks, Brenda will be blogging about getting kids ready for back-to-school. Each week will cover a new topic to prepare kids for a successful start of a new year.

Ahhh….It’s early morning, and I’m relishing the peaceful stillness and a cup of coffee while my kids are still fast asleep. Screeeech! (That is the sound effect you would hear my brain making if this was television.) At this time, three weeks from now, I will have already spent two hours waking up kids, feeding them a healthy breakfast, making lunches, making sure they have everything for their first day of school and getting them out the door on time. Whew! It would be so much easier if they went to the same school with the same starting times. But no, for us, it’s high school, middle school and elementary school. My peaceful, early mornings will soon be a thing of the past-starting next week.

Two weeks before school is the magic date for us to get back in shape for the start of a new year; regular bed times and wake up times. Just the thought of the first few days with the kids on that schedule sends shivers up my spine, especially with two teenagers. But, as a former teacher, and mother, I know how important sleep is for my children’s physical, mental and emotional health and development and the importance of getting back into a sleep routine before school starts, not when school starts.

Resuming regular bedtimes starts with some planning. First and foremost, I give our kids a week of reminders that we will be starting our sleep schedule routine. Of course this hinders my high schooler’s social life tremendously, but she’s the one who needs the most sleep! During that week, I begin planning which consists of finding as many exhausting activities as possible for each day. It could be the zoo, swimming, hiking, play dates, washing the cars, or any other physically exhausting activities. Once you have your plan in place, share it with your family because your kids will be more comfortable if they know what the plan entails.

At the two-week mark, it’s time to implement the plan. It starts with a good bedtime routine the night before making sure we get to bed at least a half hour earlier than we have been during the summer. Wake your kids up at a reasonable time the next morning and allow them to acclimate. The first several days will be challenging but hang in there. Enjoy your activities in the morning and afternoon saving the evening for quieter activities that signal bedtime. Each night, put your child to bed and wake them up 15 minutes earlier until they are on their school schedule. Make sure that you get to bed on time, too.

With a little planning and implementing, you’ll get the new school year off to a great start, and your child’s teacher will appreciate your effort.

For more information on back-to-school sleep routines, visit our campus by clicking here or WebMD

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