Know! To Help Students
Know! To Help Students Get Their Head in the Game
Back-To-School is the name of the game and a fresh, new season is upon us. For many students, this transitional time is a source of anxiety and stress: new classrooms and schedules, new teachers and coaches, increased academic and athletic expectations, new peers and new or increased pressures when it comes to drinking, smoking and using other drugs.
Kids need to know that some amount of nervousness is natural and to be expected. But parents need to know that ongoing stress is among the top reasons youth cite for using alcohol and other drugs.
What can parents do to reduce back-to-school stress and encourage a positive start to the school season?
Get Students Game-Ready With These Healthy Habits:
- Stick-To-It Sleep Schedule: The older they get, the trickier this gets as natural sleep patterns shift. However, middle schoolers need about 10-12 hours of sleep each night and high schoolers need about 8 ½ - 9 hours of sleep regularly.
- Eat Breakfast: Food is fuel for the body and brain. Encourage protein packed, high fiber breakfasts.
- End the All-Day Grazing: Help your child ease away from the summer-time open door refrigerator policy to make for an easier transition back to the school day scheduled eating times.
Help Students Get Their Head In The Game:
- Attend an Open House: Help your child get the lay of the land or get reacquainted with the old turf.
- Get the Gear: New school supplies gives many students that clean slate, fresh start, good feeling.
- Get Organized: Clear the summer clutter and create a designated, distraction-free homework zone.
- Boost Brainpower: Reading is great exercise for the mind, as well as crossword puzzles, word scrambles and other brain teasers. Jump online to find a variety of age-appropriate brain games.
- Talk It Up: Be positive and help your child remember all the things they like about school. It may simply be friend-focused: catching up with old friends, the excitement of meeting new friends or the fun of seeing how classmates changed over the summer.
- Take It Easy: Preparation is important, but don’t go overboard. If you make too big of a deal of it, it may create or add to anxiety.
- Embrace the Ads: While they can get annoying, consider all those back-to-school ads as little reminders of what is to come…further helping your child to get their head in the game.
Taking these steps should help to prepare the body and mind for back-to-school, and should help to alleviate some anxiety and stress and allow students to focus in on their season’s goal – to learn.
Sources: Suite 101: Get Your Kids Back Into The Learning Mode. Back-to-School Countdown: Tips to Prepare Kids for the Big Day. National Sleep Foundation: Teens and Sleep.