As seen in the August 7th 2019 edition of the Clarkston News…
I went grocery shopping the other day and almost cried when I saw the supplies lined up in their back to school glory. What happened to the beach toys? Is my sixteen-year-old ready? I don’t even know where he is! I’m making lists of what we didn’t do and what we need to do, all while trying to remember the last time I checked to make sure he’s eating greens and sleeping. It’s safe to say I’m panicking, but it’s unnecessary.
And Here’s Why…
At Forum Health Clarkston, I’ve learned how to ease my son into a healthy school year without bringing his summer to an abrupt end. Preparation is the only way to avoid structure whiplash the night before their big day. We can do so by helping them into the new school year now with just a few tweaks in their current routine—or non-routine.
For obvious reasons, let’s begin with food: I tend to get somewhat liberal in the summer by overlooking eating habits I normally discourage. If you do this, it’s time to put the kibosh on that with fruits, vegetables, and protein.
As you swap out the chips for cucumbers, tell them why—teach your children the importance of living balanced lives. Take them on a fun trip to the farmers market. Show them how to choose the in-season produce and explain how each one is a powerhouse of protection for their growing bodies.
This change will benefit you, too. By the first day of school, you’ll feel a sense of relief. They’ll be pros at packing their own lunches with healthy choices to get them through their days!
Next, take this time to reflect: Did your child conquer a fear this summer? Did they learn anything new? There’s still time to make that list! Set some attainable goals and help them take a triumphant step into the new school year. With a healthy dose of confidence, they’ll see what’s possible on the horizon.
Finally, it’s time to ease into their school routine: Most of them have had long, carefree days of swimming and playing. Start reining them in by getting that schedule under control.
Don’t wait until the night before the first day to implement a proper bedtime. We all know sleep is important for immeasurable reasons. We also know that forcing a child to bed who isn’t used to a set time is asking for catastrophe. Set a summer bedtime and as the days dwindle to the first day of school, move it appropriately.
Limit screen time, especially an hour before bed. Scary, right? I know. This could be fun for everyone. Play a boardgame and start a new tradition, like Family Night. Bring everyone outside to chase fireflies or have a bonfire. Create foundations and be a family.
Instead of letting them lay on the couch with their phone in their face, it’s time to swap it out for a book. Catch up on the summer reading list you said you were going to implement back in May. They’ll thank you. Maybe not now, but someday.
You still have time to start the school year with success. Remember, you are raising your children to be independent. They won’t always have you standing over them to show the way. Teach them those good habits now and take comfort in their choices later.
Forum Health Clarkston
7300 Dixie Hwy. Ste. 500
Clarkston, MI 48346