We hope that everyone had a great summer. This article will outline a few helpful tips to easing into the new school year.
Before the new school year begins, it is imperative that parents take their child to his/her primary care physician to have a physical, check his/her vision, hearing, general health and update vaccines. If a child will be participating in sports, it is advised that he/she undergoes a sports physical.
The First Day of School
Most children will be anxious and uneasy about the beginning of the new school year, especially if they are starting a new school, new classes, new teachers, etc. If your child seems nervous on the first day, remind him/her about positive memories from previous years of first-day jitters and how they overcame those nerves (whether it was a good rest of school year, making new friends, specific events that occurred throughout that school year, etc.). As parents, try to be as encouraging and optimistic as possible.
Try to register for any tours or orientation of the school before the year begins. It is important to try to drive your child on the first day of school so that they can be comfortable in the new environment. If your child does decide to take the bus to school, make sure that you teach them the appropriate precautions to take. For example, make sure the child looks both ways before crossing the street, and that he/she waits for the bus to come to a complete stop before attempting to get on it. Doing this can provide safety to your child.
When it comes to school supplies, such as a backpack, make sure that you purchase a comfortable backpack with support. Having support with a backpack can prevent future muscle strain and back and neck pain for the child. It is also recommended to buy a backpack with 2 straps rather than a one shoulder strap. Try to limit unnecessary objects in the backpack so that the child does not have a heavy load on his/her back.
Bullying in any way is an unacceptable action. Bullying often occurs in school-aged children when a person picks on another person with the intention of hurting them. It can occur in ways like physically hurting another person or it can be a psychological attack on someone. Another form of bully is cyberbullying, which is when a person intentionally posts insulting things on the internet to hurt someone. It is often seen in the school setting, however, it is not limited to only that environment.
If you notice your child is being bullied, you should notify the school immediately to solve this issue before it escalates. In the meantime, advise your children about ways to deal with these actions. Help your child learn how to respond, whether it is by walking way, verbally standing up to their bully, or staying calm and ignoring the bully. Encourage your child to make friends with other children and support activities that your child is interested in. It is vital that you monitor your child’s social media or texting, so that you can identify problems before they escalate.
If your child is the bully, be sure your child knows that bullying is not acceptable and should not be repeated. Make sure to be firm and discipline your child appropriately for this behavior.
Establishing Good Habits
It is crucial to your child’s success to develop good habits for school. To start their morning off, prepare for your child a nutritious meal. A nutritious meal can encourage energy, focus, and promote overall school performance. Getting a good night sleep will also promote success for your child. A good night sleep (8-10 hours of sleep) will allow your child to be alert during class and actively learning as the day goes on.
If you would like to learn about more information, go to healthychildren.org from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Nejla Israel is a physician at Deighton Family Practice. With a specialty in family medicine, Israel has hospital privileges at Providence-Providence Park Hospital.