Wouldn’t it be great if the night before school starts you could flick a switch and your children would instantly snap back into school mode? Unfortunately, it takes most kids (and let’s be honest, parents too) a couple of weeks to reset their clocks and successfully transition from lazy summer days back to busy school and day care schedules. The sooner you start, the sooner you and your child will be back in the groove.
Follow these tips to help your child ease back into the school-year routine so he or she will be well rested and eager to learn:
Recalculate your child’s bedtime.
To figure out when your child needs to be tucked in for the night, start with how much sleep your child needs (elementary school students need 10 to 11 hours of sleep; kindergarteners and preschoolers, 11 to 13 hours; and toddlers 12 to 14 hours). Add 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep at night, plus another 10 minutes to cover morning chaos and count backwards from the time your child has to walk out the door. That’s your child’s new “lights out” time, so you’ll want to start bedtime routines about a half hour before that.
If your child has been staying up late to catch fireflies or watch TV with the family during the summer, you can expect some complaints, particularly with older children. It takes time for the body to adjust to a new sleep cycle. You can ease the transition by moving your child’s bedtime up 20 to 30 minutes every few days over a 2-week period until you hit the target bedtime.
More tips next time