Back To School Tips

Preparing for a new school year can be  overwhelming and catch even the most organized parent off guard. It seems to come out of no where,  and suddenly families coast to coast find themselves back in  school mode.

Here’s a list of tips that will help you and your family set off in the right direction for this school year. These items may not be on your school’s list of essential items but I find these are the things that make or break a school year much more than having the right notebook, calculator or sharpie!


Dr. Gwenn’s Back to School “To Do” list

Breakfast of Champions!
Activities
Cell Phone Rules
Kid Time
Texting & Sexting, and the Internet
Oh my aching back!
Sleep
Come To Dinner
Health Check
Outdoor Time
Organization & School Work
Lunch Plan

Breakfast of Champions!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not having it is like attempting to drive your car on fumes for miles and miles. Breakfast doesn’t have to be huge or complicated…it just has to occur!

Activities
Don’t overload the activity plate! Try to balance activities with downtime.  If  your child wants to drop a sport or musical instrument for another, don’t get caught up on age or how many years have been invested. All isn’t lost…this is childhood and variety is the name of the game, not specialization.

Cell Phone Rules
With cell phones so common, we need to be involved with how our kids use them. Check in with your kids to be sure they are using features appropriately and not using features that have inappropriate content. If you don’t recognize an app, Google it and see what it does.

Kid Time
Kids who work hard need to play hard! Make sure your kids have time each week to relax and have nothing scheduled.

Texting & Sexting, and the Internet
Do you talk with your kids about social networking, sexting and computer use? Dr. Gwenn’s  book CyberSafe has all the information you need to get you on the same page with your kids and perhaps even a step ahead.  More information coming soon!

Oh my aching back!
Backpacks are true health hazards for our kids. Be sure they are the proper size and that your kids are wearing them properly. For more information, click here:

Sleep
Kids in school need at least 10 hours of sleep. Start tweaking that schedule now to get into the sleep/wake cycle your child will have for the new school year, and try to keep to it on weekends.

Come To Dinner!
Studies show that family dinners not only help boost our kids self-esteems but may be the best antidrug around. Busy families can’t always accomplish family meals every night but make it a goal this year to have as many family meals as you can each week.

Health Check
Even if your school doesn’t require an annual physical, this is the best way to be sure that all the needs or your child are addressed entering a school year including medications, immunizations, issues lingering from the prior year, including emotional issues.

Outdoor Time
Studies show that spending time outside not only is a stress buster but an excellent way to increase daily exercise for kids. Even a casual walk together makes a big difference in long term health.

Organization & School Work
Help your kids establish a homework routine. If homework seems excessively long or stressful, call the school  for guidance.

Lunch and School Day Snack Plan
Helping kids plan for  school day meals and snacks helps them understand how to make healthy decisions. The more involved you are, the more informed they will be.

All kids have butterflies out of the gate even if they don’t show it. The more organized and in control you are, the more at ease they will be as the year slides into full swing.

(Originally posted August 2009; Updated September2015)