September is a funny month. It’s unique in that it’s welcomed, and yet feared, by many. If you have school-age children, you know all about the excitement that a brand new school year brings and how bright and shiny things look on September 1.
However, as surely as the leaves will change, so might your student’s outlook.
Before you know it, it’s September 30 and you’ve got students who are overwhelmed with their workload and extracurricular activities, complaining about being tired, and…. was that a cough I heard? When students are under stress, their immune systems are compromised and a myriad of other emotional and social problems ensue.
If your students feel like they’re walking a tightrope, we’ve got some tips on how you can help them bring balance back into their life.
Rise and Shine!
One of the most universal back-to-school struggles that students of all ages struggle with is adjusting to the early morning ringing of the alarm clock. After enjoying a few months of sleeping in, it can be very difficult to get back into the old school-day sleep habits.
For younger children, try moving up their bedtime in small increments (10-15 minutes) each night to help them adjust from late summer nights to early fall mornings. Getting them in bed earlier will increase the amount of sleep they are getting and help them wake more rested and ready for the day.
For older students with busier schedules, early bedtimes may be near impossible. However, suggest they set their alarm clock for 10-15 minutes earlier than they technically need to be up. That way, they can take their time waking up, which may also help them begin the day with a more pleasant attitude.
Take Back The Day!
There’s no denying school alone takes up a good chunk of your child’s time. Throw in sports, extracurricular activities, homework, church or civic commitments, and family time, and your student may start to feel some serious strain.
Remind them that despite the cliche, there really are enough hours in the day — they just have to be utilized and organized well.
Help them strengthen their time-management skills by having them keep a time log for a few days so they can see on paper where their time is going. Then, they can visually pinpoint areas in their day where they can eliminate wasted time, add in personal time, and prioritize their responsibilities. Teach them that they should be masters of their schedules, and not the other way around.
Study Hard, Play Hard!
The new school year may mean summer is over, but that doesn’t mean that the value of exploration and fun is lost. During the school year, more than ever, your child needs time set aside where they can just play and have fun doing something they enjoy.
No matter how much your child has going on, encourage them to maintain emotional health by making time to play and unwind. After all, studies show play enhances academic development, making it a win-win!
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