How to Tackle Common School Year Issues With Your Kids
By Guest Blogger Anya Willis
You can visit her website at fitkids.info.
Image via Pixabay
Getting your kids through the school year can seem like a battle sometimes. Whether you have preschoolers, teens, or children in between, several problems can pop up throughout the year. However, with a little preparation and strategy like that explained here by Happily Ever After Maternity, you and your kids can tackle common issues that come your way and emerge unscathed.
Germs and Illnesses
Though you can't ensure your kids won't bring home a cold, the flu, or other illnesses from school, you can take steps to improve their chances. Make sure your children are using proper handwashing techniques and using hand sanitizerto reduce the spread of germs. They also should get vaccinated, eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, and take a multivitamin daily to strengthen their immune systems and stave off illnesses.
Problems Waking Up for School
Many children have trouble waking up for school, particularly at the beginning of the school year when they’re adjusting to getting up earlier. If you have to drag your child out of bed every morning for school, make sure they are getting enough rest. According to Sleep.org, 6- to 13-year-old children typically need 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers may actually need more sleep than younger children because they go through physical growth spurts, as well as new stages of cognitive development.
Whenever possible, have your children go to bed a little earlier to allow them time to wake up naturally, rather than being startled awake by an alarm or a parent shaking them.
Trouble Concentrating In the Classroom
Children and teens who get enough quality sleep at night generally can maintain focus, retain information, and problem-solve better than those who are sleep deprived. Studies indicate that children with higher grades typically get more sleep and have earlier bedtimes than those kids with lower grades.
Sleep isn't the only factor that affects performance in school, however. Exercise is essential for school success because it gets the brain ready to learn on a cellular level, promotes concentration, and assists in memory retention. If your child continues to have trouble focusing in school, consider professional evaluations to rule out ADHD, anxiety, or other types of issues.
Resistance to Homework
Nobody likes homework, but most kids realize it’s mandatory and plough through it. Some children, however, are especially resistant to homework at the beginning of the school year when they haven't quite gotten back into theirschool routine.
If you find homework is becoming a constant problem, investigate the cause. Is it because your child is tired or hungry when they get home? Is it because they don't feel they have a quiet, comfortable space to get their homework done? Is the work just too hard for them? If homework problems continue after the first several weeks of the school year, meet with your child’s teacher to discuss the homework assignments and address the problem together.
Some parents use the power of rewards to help motivate their kids to complete homework. Consider experimenting with a reward system that includes a range of freedoms or items, starting with smaller rewards like a special snack or extra TV time after dinner for smaller achievements to a case for their tablet or iPad for larger achievements like hitting straight A’s. (The plus for getting a case, of course, is that their device is protected from bumps and drops, and many models double as stands which improves ergonomics during screen time.)
Though structure is beneficial for school-age children, and afterschool sports and activities can be beneficial both socially and physically, you don't want your children to be overscheduled. Research indicates that children need free play and downtime in order to reduce stress and increase happiness, as well as improve decision-making and problem-solving skills. Of course working parents may not always have time in their own schedules to bring their kids home earlier, so hiring a reliable babysitter is always a good idea.
The school year doesn’t have to be stressful for parents or kids. When your children face problems in and out of school, assure them you’re in this together. If you work as a team, you can identify the cause of the issue and then develop a plan of action to solve it.
Anya Willis is a yoga instructor and has three children. She is passionate about kids being active and healthy. You can visit her website at fitkids.info.
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