Back-to-School Tips for Children’s Material and Mental Health
Back-to-School Tips for Children’s Material and Mental Health. Your child’s health and well-being are keys to success in and out of the classroom. Studies show that good fitness can lead to higher educational achievement, better activity performance, and better conduct.
So with all those benefits, how do you keep kids healthy when they return to school? Below, we share back-to-school health tips and explain what you can do about your child’s stress or anxiety as they start another school year.
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Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy When they go Back to School
Exercise, diet, and rest are the foundation of your child’s fitness. And while taking care of all three will help keep your child’s immune system strong, there are other steps to protect yourself against illness. To set your child up for victory, do the following.
Make them Move
Organized sports are a tack of many childhoods for a basis. Among the many benefits of regular physical activity, its positive effects on energy levels and sleep quality can help your child feel and focus better during the school day. And the team part can give them a social network to build affinities.
If your child isn’t interested in playing sports at school, see if she can get him interested in some form of physical activity outside of school. Your child may prefer an individual sport, such as martial art, or a more recreational, less competitive setting than school.
Regardless of your child’s preferences, taking your child for a back-to-school physical is a great way to determine if any aspects of your child’s health may need attention. And if your child is participating in a school sport, she can get a comprehensive sports physical during the same visit, so she doesn’t have to make an extra trip.
Prepare Healthy School Lunches
Your child’s lunch is critical to a productive school day. The energy they get from food fuels them through the afternoon and can keep them focused on their schoolwork instead of complaining about or having cravings. You can double these benefits by preparing school lunches with healthy recipes for your child’s needs.
For example, extra protein can prevent post-school hunger and aid muscle growth and recovery if participating in a strength-based sport. More fast-burning carbs can help them keep up if they run a lot. You know your son best and what he likes.
Create a Sleep Routine for a School Night.
Quality sleep is as essential to your child’s health as diet and exercise. Most kids need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, but it’s easy for things to get in the way, especially electronic devices. Kids respond well to routines, so establish a good sleep hygiene pattern to ensure they get all the nods they need. This may include:
- Set a strict bedtime
- Disconnect from meshes at least an hour before sleep
- Allow time between getting ready for bed and turning off the lights for a relaxing activity like reading
Tips to Support Your Children’s Mental Health When they Return to School
If your child is already getting good nutrition, exercise, and sleep, he’ll reap many benefits for both his mind and her body. But school can affect mental health in many forms. Ensure your child feels supported and comfortable addressing her feelings, whether it’s nervousness about returning to school or a deeper mental health issue.
Tips for Managing the Nerves on the First Day of School
The first day of school is a typical source of anxiety for many kids. There are many unknowns: if they will have friends in class, what their teachers will be like, how much homework they will have, and the list. Eliminating as many unknowns as possible beforehand can help your child start their first day with more confidence. This may seem like helping them pick out clothes and pack their backpack the day before school starts.
You can also guide them through their schedule and help them envision a joyous first day. Some schools even host open houses near the start of the school year so that parents and children can meet teachers and see classrooms. But sometimes, the nerves are more than the first day. Here’s what to do if your child experiences more extended periods of anxiety as the school year progresses.
Make Mental Health Okay to Talk About
If school causes your child stress or anxiety, it can be beneficial for them to talk about it rather than bottle it up. Encourage your child to talk about her feelings, ask questions, and help explain why she feels that way. As an outside observer, you can point out things to help ground your child and put her feelings in perspective.
For example, if your child feels comfortable enough to ask, “Why am I nervous about returning to school? You can point out that feeling nervous in a new situation is routine. You could also remind them that they are not the only ones who feel this way; many children share similar anxieties. Instead of feeling isolated, your child could see it as something she has in joint with her peers, which will pass over time.
Be Aware of the Changes
Even if you encourage communication, your child may be unable to talk freely about everything that happens at school. Sometimes the only signs that your child is dealing with something may be changes in her daily habits.
This could include changes in behaviour, such as wanting to spend less time with friends or not showing much of an appetite at dinner. It could also be staying up later or having trouble sleeping. You know your child best: If something seems to be affecting her school work, socialization, or her quality of life, remind her that you are there for her and that you want to help.
Know When to Ask for Help
Open communication, help, and time often allow children to adjust to the shifts that school brings. But sometimes, a child may require more help. This is another area where communication is critical. If your child has a problem, it’s essential to know where she’s coming from, whether she’s another student, her studies, or something else.
If the problem is specific to a class or sport they participate in, contacting the teacher or coach may be appropriate. On the other hand, if the problem is something like persistent sadness or stress, your child may benefit from a meeting with their primary care physician, who can do an initial assessment and refer them to a behavioural health expert if necessary.
We are Here to Help
Your child’s health, both physical and mental, is essential. Making sure they feel their best will help them get the most out of their education and the relationships they build at school. Whether you need fitness forms for a school sport or have questions about your child’s mental health, we’ve got you covered.