Patient Resources

Back to School

The new school supplies and backpacks have lost their first-day-of-school luster and shine. What’s left for many of us is the daily school-morning mad dash and the stress it can bring.

There’s an opportunity for us to slow down, breathe, collect our thoughts and make a decision to limit the morning madness.

By making the conscious decision to reduce stress and confusion in our mornings, we position ourselves for better ensuring we’ll have a positive and productive day.

Here are a few suggestions for everyone in your home out the door with a good start to their day.

  • Keep backpacks in a central location. When homework is done, put it in its correct folder and store it in your backpack. Place the backpack in a central location so it’s easy to find and grab during the morning rush.
  • Pack lunches the night before. Kids are more likely to eat what they pack, so let them help make lunches. It’s a great opportunity to make adult lunches, too.
  • Invest in a family calendar. Keep track of important dates and events using a family calendar. Hang it in a central location and update it as needed. In addition, consider a daily huddle. A 5-minute huddle will help you remember where and when to pick up or drop off the kids. This way, you will minimize the chances of someone getting stranded somewhere because Mom or Dad forgot to pick them up.
  • Select and lay out clothes the night before. Do this to minimize time-wasting and stress-inducing arguments about what shirt or skirt to wear, what article of clothing matches and what doesn’t. It’s one less thing to worry about during an already busy and rushed period.

In addition to our suggestions, remember that sleep is vital for ensuring we function at our best.  Most school-aged children need at least 8 hours of sleep at night. Set a bedtime that works for the whole family. Be consistent in enforcing it.

Limit television viewing and time with electronic devices. Spending time on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter before bedtime can sharply hinder one’s ability to wind down and sleep. If needed, take away your child’s phone for a while – after all, how important can that 1 a.m. message really be?

With a few changes, your school year can be great one for the entire family.

- Dr. Lucy Canaday