Getting back into a routine
Getting your kids back to school and back into a routine for a new term at school is rarely easy. The longer the holiday the more difficult it can become – particularly when they may have been having later bedtimes, sleeping in and eating just a few too many of the wrong foods.
All of a sudden, the summertime homework is remembered and all hell breaks loose when the vital paperwork can’t be found. It’s a wonder we bother with holiday times at all !
It can take time to get children back into a regular routine of doing homework, eating the right foods and getting to bed at a sensible time. Therefore, it is worthwhile starting the process gradually before the school term actually begins.
Taking time to assess what worked and what didn’t work during the previous school term can be a good way to set up a better routine to help your child cope with the demands of school in the best possible way. After all, if you keep trying to do what hasn’t worked it’ll probably always carry on not working. In the words of Tony Robbins: if you keep on doing what you have always done; you’ll get what you’ve always got. Sometimes just a small shift in the way you do things can bring about a change for the better.
Assess – Plan – Agree
Having looked at what did and didn’t work last term – and thought about some possible tweaks – you then need to draw up a plan of action and talk it through with your child/children. Everyone needs to be in agreement as to how the school term is going to be.
Of course, many plans are great in theory but prone to fail when kids try and test you out – so, it really can be a case of standing firm in the face of adversity! That is why it is important to get them to agree the school routine plan at the beginning of term. They agreed to it – those are the rules – so stick with them. No ifs. No buts!
Don’t overload your child
Whilst after-school and weekend activities like sports, music, dancing and so on can be beneficial, it’s important not to overload them with too much during the school term. If nothing else, keeping the activities to a sensible level will reduce the need for you to be running around like a headless chicken taking them to and from a succession of locations and events.
Restricting access to electronic toys, computer games, videos and television that keep children in a mentally stimulated state can prove a challenge to the best of parents.
This techy stuff can be addictive and can reduce a child’s psychological and social functioning. Research has shown that addiction to electronic games can lead to increased hyperactivity and other behavioural disorders: a decline in verbal memory; decreased performance at school; interference of sleep patterns; a lack of interest in other activities;
and diminished family interaction and relationships.
School holiday times can often lead to an increase in the use of computer games, videos and electronic toys and weaning your child off can take time, so starting well before the term starts can be beneficial. Like any other addiction, withdrawal symptoms of erratic behaviour can sometimes to be expected but it is essential to keep the use of electronic toys and computer games and other activities to a minimum, if you want your child to perform well at school.
Relax and unwind
Help your child to unwind at the end of the school day so that they are refreshed enough to do their homework.
Whilst disappearing off to watch television may seem like relaxation to them, it is in fact creating even more stimulation in your child’s mind. Television should therefore be kept to a minimum during the school week – with favourite programmes ideally being recorded so they can be watched at the weekend.
Creating a welcoming and relaxing environment is important for enabling a child to unwind. Of course in an ideal world we’d all be Enid Blyton book parents, with nothing else better to do than have a warm open fire and buttered crumpets ready when our children came home from school. However, for most of us trying to work as well as raise a family, the reality can be much different. Learning some relaxation tips and techniques can therefore be beneficial for all the family.
“Help-my-Child” run one to one training sessions to help both children and their parents learn quick and easy techniques for de-stressing and re-energising after a hard day’s work.
For further information visit: www.help-my-child.com
Information on local schools is available in our Council and Community section of the website:
Nursery School: Sheen, Barnes, Kew, Richmond
Secondary Schools: Richmond