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Our Favorite Back-to-School Tips for Kids

This article originally appeared on Twigtale and was reprinted with permission.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

Our friends at Twigtale formed the Twigtale Parent Lab to tap the expertise of everyday moms and dads as well as leading experts who are in the parenting trenches. They look to this dynamic group for inspiration and feedback that ensures their books continue to be a first-rate parenting resource. With the start of the new school year upon us, they consulted these parents for their best back-to-school advice for kids. Check out their tips below, and good luck!

Prepare your child with a personalized book

“Make a little book about your child starting school and what he can expect. Having some predictability can make the start of school much less scary. If you know his teacher’s name, friends who will be in his class or other activities he may have in school, include these details so he can have a sense of what his days [will look like.]” 

— Jill Spivack, LCSW and Jennifer Waldburger, LCSW, co-founders, Sleepy Planet Parenting and co-creators, The Sleepeasy Solution

Resolve the “what to wear” issue

“Pick out clothes the night before.”

— Moriah, Twigtale Parent Lab member

Get on a healthy sleep schedule

“I have three kids and we are back to school in three days! As a pediatrician and mom, I know how important setting the tone is for the start of the new school year. Most important for me is to get back on track with a healthy sleep schedule. We all get comfortable during the summer and enjoy our evenings with the sun out late. Before we know it, it is 9 PM and our kids are wide awake! Not OK for school days!

Sleep is so critical for overall health — possibly more important than anything else. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen kids diagnosed with attention or hyperactivity issues when they were only suffering from a lack of sleep. Most school-age kids need 10-12 hours of sleep a night at minimum. I aim for 10+ hours for my 10-year-old, 11 hours for my 7-year-old, and 12 hours for my 3-year-old. I start adjusting their schedule the week before school starts so there isn’t an abrupt transition on the first day of school.

Along with sleep, we all know healthy eating is critical for brain activity. I always encourage my kids to have some type of protein and a source of dairy for breakfast before school. No matter how “late” or “not hungry” they are, I insist on eating something healthy.”

— Sonya Sethi Gohill, M.D., Brentwood Pediatrics 

Give yourself plenty of time in the morning

“Assume everything will take two times as long the first day, and then double that. Rushing makes transitions harder, so do whatever you can the night before so that the first morning is as positive and easy-going as possible.”

— Betsy, Twigtale Parent Lab member

Tell your kids to ask questions

“Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask questions. If you’re thinking about a question, the other kids probably are too!”

— Pattie Fitzgerald, founder/author, Safely Ever After, Inc.

Teach your kids their four morning jobs

“Start with your four jobs in the morning: potty, get dressed, eat, brush teeth … and have fun learning and making new friends!”

— Allison LaTona, MFT, Parenting Consultant

Encourage your kids to be friendly

” Smile, keep an open mind, and seek out the new kids.”

— Katy Tanghe, Twigtale Parent Lab member

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