So, we blinked, and summer holidays are drawing to a close. It is a good idea to bring in a routine for back to school to ensure that this is an easy transition, particularly if your child is starting at a new school. We will suggest a few ideas to try out at home, so you can see what works best for you. We also suggest starting the new routine a couple of weeks before the start of school, so the routine is in place when the school term starts.
Sleep like a baby
Children usually stay up later during the summer holidays than during the school year. It is important to try and get these night routines back up and running. This process can start a couple of weeks before the start of school and put them to bed gradually earlier and earlier until they reach the target bedtime for the school year. This will ensure that the child will start getting used to going to bed at this time and have a good night sleep in anticipation of the school day ahead.
If you find it difficult, a good idea is to sit the child down and explain why a good night’s sleep is beneficial, after all, it is our healing period, allows brain development and will prevent grumpiness the next day!
Gadgets off and lights out!
The hour before bed should be a no-electronics zone. Studies show the light from backlit electronics (like tablets, smartphones and video games) can disrupt children’s ability to fall—and stay—asleep. We also recommend no TV or TV video games before bed, both for the light emitted and also any content which can make winding down difficult.
Showers and baths before bedtime is scientifically proven to help feel sleepy before bedtime, drinking a warm glass of milk and reading a book.
Get as much done as you can the night before
School mornings can be hectic, so it is a great idea to organise everything you need for the morning, the night before to avoid chaos in the morning.
Little things that can be organised the night before will make the morning flow so much better such as the following:
- Your child can lay out their uniform the night before to make sure everything is there
- What are they doing after school? Is there a club on/ doctor’s appointment/ tutor etc.
- Is there anything from school that needs a parent signature?
- Set the table for breakfast the night before
Morning routines down to a tee
It could be a great time to introduce the responsibility of children waking themselves up for the school day. Buying them an alarm clock and giving them the responsibility wake themselves up will help them to learn when they need to wake themselves up for what they need to do, a skill which will take them through to university and the rest of their lives.
Of course, at the beginning you may have to nudge them to get out of bed but introducing these life skills early can really benefit both you and the child.
For younger children, creating a chart of what they need to do in morning using pictures can be a good way of putting in place the routine of getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing their teeth and getting ready to go.
If you have any of your own tips, we would love to hear them, so we can spread the school morning success!