It’s time to exchange flip flops, sunscreen and lazy days for sneakers, hectic mornings and the classroom. The transition between summer vacation and the new school year is not always easy. I polled 5 moms to bring you 5 key tips to get your kids back in the swing of things without the stress.
Turn on the Sleep Routine, now!
At least 3 nights before the first day of school, reintroduce the school routine by getting kids up early and going to bed at the appropriate time. This transitioning is great for kids and great for mom too, so by the time the first day of school arrives, you and your child will feel less anxiety and fatigue. Plus, their teacher will thank you when your child is bright-eyed and ready to learn in class.
Healthy Food + Square Meals = Star Child
It is typical to hear that a balanced breakfast is the most important step of the day – but it’s true! So make sure your child is up early enough to have a balanced breakfast that is high in protein and fibre and low in sugar to keep your child’s energy levels optimum - so they ultimately perform well in the classroom.
For lunch, pack healthy meals with protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugary drinks and desserts. Blood sugar crashes can make your child sleepy, irritable and less able to focus in class. Instead, try to manage their sweet tooth with more “whole" foods, like fresh fruit or dried fruit that has been made without added sugar. For beverages, keep them well hydrated and alert with water over sugary beverages…but to add some fun to boring H20, consider letting them pick out an eco S’well Water Bottle from an assortment of fun colours and prints. The 9oz size is great for little hands and lighter in the backpack.
Reduce Screen Time & Encourage Activity
Kids spend a large part of their day sitting in the classroom, and once they arrive home they opt to sit in front of 'the screen’. From tablets, TV’s to video gaming, it all adds up to too much inactivity. Create a house rule that limits screen time to no more than two hours at home after school and be sure to enforce the rule. Better yet, be a good role model and limit your evening screen time too! If your children see you following your own rules, they’re more likely to do the same. And lastly, be sure to encourage alternatives to Screen Time like playing outside, enrolling them in an organized sport or picking up a new hobby. In fact, children flourish in pursuing singing, drawing, painting or dance, so consider having the arts mindfully structured into their week without over scheduling them.
Keep Germs at Bay
Back-to-School can mean Back-to-Germs. In fact, young children catch about eight colds each year as the classroom can be a breeding ground for the germs that cause colds and flu. To stay as healthy as possible, send your child(ren) to school with a naturally formulated antibacterial product, such as the Germs Away Mist by Graydon and teach them the importance of washing their hands and wiping down surfaces regularly. Research concludes that desk surfaces, computer keyboards and computer mouses ranked the highest levels in illness causing bacteria (E. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Streptococcus, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus).
Take An Aromatherapy 'Me-Moment'
The pressure of getting back into a routine, managing everyone's expectations and the logistics of getting them to and from school can take a toll on mom's stress and emotional levels. Kids will sense if you are anxious, panicked or worried, and will feed off these emotions. When the circus starts to feel out of control, try incorporating an easy-to-use aromatherapy treatment into the day to settle your mind and relax the tension build-up. Consider Province Apothecary's Calm Down Therapeutic Roll-On - simply apply to your wrists, temples and back of neck, and breath deeply. Bergamot and Frankincense relax the mind and body. Neroli relieves chronic anxiety and stress and Roman Chamomile calms and relieves irritation and irritability. Taking this moment of me-time will pay off for you and your children.