Getting back to school-time routines

As summer ends, so does the carefree schedule. For many families and especially children, going back to school is even more difficult because of the need to re-establish a long-forgotten routine. Staying up late is no longer an option.

Our bodies need time to adjust to the new clock and it is important to take time to relax in advance of the new consistent bedtime. Whether it is reading, watching TV or just bedtime preparation, winding down will allow the sandman to do his job.

Consistent family routines help kids do better in schoolRe-establishing the school time routine right away will also help kids keep up with homework from the start. Having a set time most nights to finish homework will help combat excessive TV watching or video games and keep school work as a top priority. Extracurricular activities such as sports, dance and music will also benefit from established schedules.

Routines will reduce the stress and possible chaos that can enter a busy household now adjusting around the timetable of another school year. And when the entire family is on the same routine (easier said than done, I know) it can mean more meals together as a family and greater communication.

In order for the new family routines to be successful they will need to also be flexible. Dinner won’t be at the same time every night and special events may happen, keeping the kids up a bit past their bedtime. But having a routine that the family follows most days can have benefits beyond getting good sleep, better grades and more quality family time. Routines can also help combat childhood obesity.

Research done at Ohio State University found that children who ate dinner with their families, watched less than two hours of TV per night and slept for 10.5 hours each night, reduced their risk of obesity by 40 per cent. Even just accomplishing one of these three routines helped to reduce the obesity risk.

So as the new school year begins it is beneficial to get your family back on a routine after the summer fun. It won’t be easy and you can only do your best, but just having some routines in place will have enormous benefits to both you and your child.

About David Field

David Field is a past editor of Our Kids, and has helped hundred of parents by providing advice about choosing and paying for private school. David is currently a financial advisor with WSC Insurance Group in Oakville, Ontario.

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