It seems like every year, the celebration of spring comes and goes, and then summer is over before it has even begun. Next comes August, when we’re trying to get in all of those last-minute summer trips, campouts, and other activities, with the concept of back-to-school looming in our heads. While summer break is usually chock full of events that create great family memories, it can often leave parents wondering, how can I help my child transition back to school?
For many kids, the idea of returning to school is exciting. For other kids, it can create school anxiety. Yet, for parents, while there is a bit of sadness in another summer passed by, the idea of resuming school routines is a positive one.
But how can parents make it a bit easier to get kids ready to go back to school without making an overnight change the night before school begins? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
For kids of all ages, parents tend to let bedtimes and other daily routines slide a bit in the summer. When parents try to revert to the school-week bedtime and routine overnight – say, the night before the first day of school – it can often be met with some resistance.
One of the best ways to help your child transition back to school is to start slowly adopting the school year daily routine for a couple of weeks before school begins. For example, start moving bedtime earlier for young kids, maybe 10 minutes per night, until you get caught up to their school year bedtime. For older kids, consider cutting back screentime bit by bit, look for self confidence-building activities, and ask them to be home for dinner as a family. Little changes every day are often easier to adjust to than a giant change all at once.
Many schools offer an open house or parent-teacher-child meeting a week or so before the school year begins. Parents of older kids often think that these open houses and sessions are unnecessary, especially if their child has attended the same school in previous years. But our advice is not to overlook this benefit that the school is offering.
Parents can help their children alleviate school anxiety by attending these events with their child. Visiting a school open house can also help parents refamiliarize themselves with the school and school programs, making associating with their child’s day easier.
While we can hope that kids maintain a good overall hygiene routine throughout the year, we know that some things can fall to the wayside during the summer. Middle schoolers and high schoolers sometimes need a gentle reminder to shower, wear deodorant, and even comb their hair.
And when it comes to good oral care, we know from experience that all kids can use a reminder and parental influence when it comes to brushing twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. Use these last few weeks before the school year begins to revisit how your child takes care of themselves and gets ready for school each day.
Many kids require a sports physical or update on their vaccinations before school starts. So if those appointments aren’t on your calendar now, it’s an excellent time to request an appointment for them with your dentist in Reading, MA, and reach out to the school to find out health form requirements.
And a good professional dental cleaning and oral examination can help ensure your child’s smile is bright, white, and healthy on the first day of school.
Though the world has certainly gone digital, from our experience, kids of all ages can benefit from an old-fashioned family calendar hanging on the refrigerator or somewhere prominent for everyone in the family to see. Getting everyone on board with a family calendar can generate excitement for the little ones and manage expectations for older kids as well.
Ensure key school dates are listed, such as the first and last day of school, school breaks, special school-related activities, etc. And don’t forget to add important events for the family too, such as birthdays, special occasions, and vacations.
Ensure your child is in tip-top oral health when that first day of school comes and that they’re ready to flash a winning and confident smile. If you have been trying to find the best dentist for your family so your child can get their back-to-school dental cleaning, we believe you’ve come to the right place.
At First Dental Associates in Reading, MA, we provide quality care for the entire family. We look forward to seeing you and your child soon.