Have your family’s healthy habits gotten off track this summer season? Before the kids head back to school, start re-establishing healthy routines now to prevent those massive morning meltdowns when life returns to its normal, highly-scheduled state. Putting a predictable routine back in place is essential in protecting the mental and physical health of your children.
What healthy habits have been derailed in your home during the fun of summer break?
- Normal bedtimes
Children between the ages of 5 and 10 needs a lot of sleep – 10 to 11 hours per night; Pre-teens and teens 8 to 9 1/2. Their little brains just can’t function normally on 5 to 6, making learning when they go back to school especially difficult. What’s more, your well-rested kids will be happier, more active, and less likely to seek out additional energy in the form of food. Let kids know in advance, “From tomorrow on bedtime will be at 8.” Then set yourself up for success by beginning bedtime routines a half hour or so early to ensure all the feet dragging through tooth brushing and reading books doesn’t foil your plans.
- Family mealtimes
Break the grab-and-go convenience of your current summer fast food habit by planning meals in advance. It will allow your family to eat better, and connect with one another, both of which offer clear health benefits. Have busy nights? Compensate for crazy schedules on calmer nights by prepping meals in advance, pre-making salads or crockpot fare.
We don’t call them “the lazy days of summer for nothing,” and they’re tempting to hold on to. However letting them drag on into the start of school season can cost you – and your kids. Set yourself up for success by shopping for back to school essentials early to beat the rush, and put your calendar back into play, marking important dates to keep the entire family abreast of obligations and activities.
Take it slow
An overnight change in regime is likely to incur an overthrow from hostile natives. Prevent a coup by easing into old, pre-summer routines one piece at a time. Choosing and reaching small goals makes the back to school change easier and ensures a successful outcome with less stress and resistance.
Be the change
Avoid using unhealthy bribes to accomplish goals such as extra TV time or snacks to “help move things along.” Instead, show the kids the right way to handle stressful changes by emulating them yourself. Restart your normal morning exercise routine and return to regular bedtimes yourself. Once you get back to normal, your kids will naturally follow. Communicate without harassing or screaming, even when frustrated. Actions speak louder than words. Change is a normal part of life and these preparations are about building a sense of responsibility and meeting personal and family obligations.
Breathing a little easier now that the kids are headed back to school and you have a transitional plan? At Aire Serv®, we’re always here to help. Breathe easier. Contact us today.