It’s surely a question on every parent’s mind as the start of term approaches: how to go from the slow mornings and endless play of summer to the early mornings and set evenings of the school year? The Stella Sleep team has gathered the best tips to help you make the transition as smooth as possible!
1. Start by implementing bedtime and morning routines, and make sure to plan bedtimes and wake-ups that your child gets enough sleep. After all - a lack of sleep can ruin not only the best of plans but also everyone’s mood! Getting into a routine doesn’t happen overnight. If your child has to get up early in the morning, make sure to start waking them up and putting them to bed according to their weekday schedule a week or two before school starts. For more tips on bedtime routines, listen to the track for parents in the Stella Sleep app.
2. Make their evenings a time for winding down. Take away screens and electronic games 1-2 hours before bed. Let them take a relaxing bath or shower, and then try to spend some quality time together. Try reading a book together, or listening to a Stella story of your choice.
3. Encourage your child to play an active part in preparing for school! This can help them get excited at the prospect, and make implementing changes in preparation for term an easier task. Let them pick out a backpack and school supplies, and organise their clothes. Also, you can try giving them an age appropriate daily chore to help set morning or evening routines, such as putting their dishes away, packing their lunchbox or folding their clothes.
4. Establish healthy eating habits. This is another step that you can involve your child in! Let them participate in planning and preparing healthy lunches and snacks. Try to keep mealtimes regular, and meals healthy and nutritious.
5. Plan for daily exercise. What physical activities does your child enjoy? Make sure to schedule some kind of physical activity for at least 30-45 mins daily (it does not have to be scheduled sports, playing at the park or riding a bike are excellent hassle-free options!).
6. Limit screen time. Make sure to re-establish the bedroom as a screen-free zone if possible, and remove screens 1-2 hours before bedtime. Replace screen time in the afternoon with play and/or homework-time.
7. Talk about back to school-nerves. School is a social environment which can feel overwhelming to suddenly go back to after a leisurely summer. You can help your child cope with their feelings and worries by talking to them and perhaps sharing some of your own experiences of going back to school. You can also try listening to the Stella Sleep social and emotional learning stories - don’t miss the episode in which Kitty the Cat learns how to make new friends!
8. Last but not least - celebrate the first day of school! Make the transition to school life a positive that your child can really enjoy!
Stella has released social and emotional learning stories touching on the subject of going to school and making friends. Make sure to check out "Kitty the cat makes new friends" and "Loki the shape shifter" in the app!