JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The summer is almost over and we’ve got some advice to make your children’s transition back to school hours a little easier. If your kids don’t start this week, you still have some time to get into a sleep routine making that first day back not so frustrating.
If your kids have been staying up late and waking up later experts say it’s best to make gradual changes. You want to start at least four to seven days before the first day of school.
- Try pushing back your kid’s bedtime 20-50 minutes each night until they’ve reached the desired time.
- Wake the kids up a little earlier while shifting their bedtime.
- Try to start and end dinner with plenty of time to relax. It’s advised to eat a few hours before bedtime and avoid heavy foods.
- Avoid electronics before bed and limit caffeine
- Start a wind-down routine.
Keep in mind that younger kids need about 9-12 hours of sleep each night while teenagers can get a little less -- between 8-10 hours. Experts say it’s important to have a conversation about the expectation for the school year because moving up to a new grade brings new challenges. The school work gets harder and the expectations increase. Here are some ways to make that transition easier.
- Start with a conversation about how they’re feeling. Are they nervous or worried?
- Create an open dialogue and check in with your child after school starts to make sure they’re adjusting well.
- Conduct a family meeting to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Consider things like, Are your children old enough to make their own lunch? Make sure you include your kids in the decisions about what you expect from them once the school year starts.
- Also start to quiz your littles on what they learned last year. Practice multiplication tables, spelling or reading comprehension. It’s not too late to start reviewing those things so they’re not foreign when school starts.
Finally, be patient. It’s a transition and everyone knows it. The calmer you are, the calmer they’ll be as well!