Today I read an article on the Back to School Do’s and Don’ts written by By Jerry Bubrick,PhD. He is the Senior Director, Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center; Director, Intensive Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders Program.
Here are some of his suggestions from the article.
Get back into a routine. Change your child’s bedtime from 11 pm to 9 pm. Start waking up your child at school hours. Once they are awake, have your child complete the normal school routine: shower, dress, and eat breakfast. At night, the author suggests limit screen time. All screens should be off one hour before bed time. In addition, Dr. Bubrick states parents should Shop for school supplies earlier rather than later.
The most important part of the day is to make sure your child fuels their body. Dr. Bubrick says we should be more aware of meals. Why is this important? Dr. Bubrick gave an excellent example. If your child ate at 1pm and doesn’t get home until 5pm, then he/she maybe ravenous and unable to focus on homework. In order to focus, your child will need a healthy snack and then after about an hour your child will be better able to focus on homework.
When asking about your child’s day, Instead of asking “Did you make any friends?” (this may cause embarrassment to your child), Ask “How was your day?” Or
“Tell me three things you liked about today”- I like this last comment. it allows for more conversation to happen. In the question, “How was your day?”, if your child is like mine, you will get the answer, “Fine” then the child will walk away. When you ask for three good things, there are always leading comments to make after you listen first to what your child has to say. You could follow with, “What made this good for you?”
Dr. Jerry Bubrick suggests doing a trial run in order to get off to the right start.
He feels, especially for the child who is very anxious, take a drive by the school, walk into the building and allow the child to become acquainted with the smells and sounds. In addition, map out the classes and know where the locker is located.
As a parent, he suggests not to be afraid of set backs.
He feels parents and the child need to “Temper your expectations.” The expectation of the first days being stellar is not realistic. It is important to let kids ease into it and have ups and downs.Remember as a parent, every two steps forward there is one step back.
As parents, it is important to help kids manage their commitments.
Usually the first week of work is slow. So it is easy to take on new commitments.However, Dr. Bubrick suggests to wait until mid October before signing up for new activities. This way you have enough time for adjusting the schedules
Furthermore, it is important for the kids to balance their lives so that they are not coming home at 9pm and then starting homework and then off to bed at 11pm.
Dr. Bubrick believes this leads to depression. He feels children over commit themselves with activities. It is our job as their parents to show them how to balance.
One of the most important things to remember is that you are your child’s best advocate. If you see a problem but the school hasn’t contacted you, you contact them.
I tried to properly link the article. I had a difficult time. If you copy and paste this link, it should take you to the original article. http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2011-8-24-back-school-best-results