Busy Parent’s Guide to Helping Your Child Wind Down and Gear Up for the New School Year
In this parents guide getting ready for the new school year, we dive deep. With the school year gearing up, going back to a routine can be difficult. Now is the time to ease them back into routines, and that includes sleep. Sleep is the time the brain rejuvenates. Helping your child to fall asleep and stay asleep is a challenge for most parents. With COVID 19 completely changing the landscape of school days, helping your child wind down may be more challenging than ever.
Every child is different, so it requires some flexibility to find the patterns that will work for your family. Experiment with a combination of these techniques as you put together your formula for success.
Steps to Take During the Day
- Seek out natural light. Even though we’re surrounded with electric lights, our bodies are still attuned to the sun. Open the curtains to give your child exposure to morning light and spend at least a half-hour outdoors each day. Admittedly, this is more of a challenge in Canada during the winter months.
- Engage in physical activity. Regular exercise promotes restful sleep at any age. Encourage sports, games, and playtime. Ride bikes or throw a ball around in the backyard. (This is likely already an ingrained routine during the summer break.)
- Maintain a sensible schedule. It’s harder to come to a complete stop when you’ve been rushing around all day. Pace yourselves. Regular eating times will also help create a routine. Parents guide getting ready for the new school year.
Steps to Take at Night
- Set a consistent bedtime. After a busy summer, gradually getting back to a normal bedtime takes some time, so shift bedtimes by 10 minutes a day. Aim to have your child go to bed and rise at the same time every day. Stick to a similar schedule on weekends and holidays. (This is also a good practice for successful adults.)
- Provide advance notice. Older children will understand a warning that it’s 10 minutes until lights out. Younger ones will start responding to cues like running bath water and putting on pyjamas.
- Turn off the TV. Artificial light stimulates our brains. Give your kids a curfew to turn off all devices a couple of hours before bed.
- Read bedtime stories. Storytime creates a great transition for sleep and a lot of happy memories. It will also instill a love of story and a desire to learn.
- Develop other bedtime rituals. For younger kids, warm baths and soft music add up to a soothing atmosphere. Throw in a teddy bear or stuffed bunny for overnight company.
- Play white noise. Any monotonous sound hastens sleep. Turn on a fan or play a recording of the ocean.
- Warm-up. Warmth is also conducive to happy dreams. Give your child flannel sheets to snuggle in the cold weather. Bedroom temperatures of about 70 degrees with 50% humidity are usually ideal. (Although this can be difficult in the dry prairies.)
Get your child off to an early start with good sleep habits and a positive attitude about bedtime. Your whole family will enjoy better rest and better health not to mention the students in your house enjoying better grades. This is such a great Parents guide getting ready for the new school year.