7 Healthy Habits to A Successful School Year
BY AMY PEARSON
School is back in session! Whether your child is headed to kindergarten for the first time or you’re a few years into elementary school, here are some tips to ensure an even smoother transition from summer sun, to school day fun.
1. Say Goodbye the Same Way
Form a routine around the ritual of drop off – whether it’s at the bus stop, in the car line, or after walking your child into school, one of the best things that you can do for you little one is to stay consistent with the transition from home to homeroom.
2. Scaffold the Day
Many children benefit from knowing what to expect before it’s going to happen. I typically share with my four year old about what to expect a day in advance. Talk through logistics as well as feelings, both positive and negative. This helps kids feel like they’re part of the process and more in control, while also adding some structure and support.
3. Don’t Forget the Protein
We all know kids have a better day when they’ve had enough sleep. Helping them make good food choices (especially as they get older) and keeping protein levels up improves their stamina, mood, and attention span. Pack a lunch together, and while you’re at it, sprinkle in some info about which foods will be best for their midday refuel.
4. Surprise Them
Look for ways to engage in the unexpected, and reward good behavior. It might be breakfast for dinner or, their favorite dessert before dinner. Why not an impromptu dance party right before bath time? When you’re consistent with daily routines, there’s nothing better than showing your kids how to throw caution to the wind, and break out of the norm.
5. Stop Comparing
By the time I had my third child, I realized I had spent way too much time worrying about what other parents thought about my kid, my parenting, and my choices. Don’t waste your time on that. You know your kid best. Do what’s important to you, and save your energy for more important things.
6. Get Involved
Elementary school age kids love it when you learn more about their life and school day. Some parents have the flexibility and interest to volunteer during the school day, while others prefer to help by contributing to projects that can be tended to during the evening or on weekends. No matter what your level of involvement, it’s a win-win for you and their school.
7. Connect with A Peer
Sharing your peaks and valleys with another parent brings perspective and often a much needed laugh about the ebb and flow of parenting. I’ve made plenty of mistakes as a parent and sharing those stories with a trusted friend can dispel worries, create lasting bonds, and offer a welcome reminder that you’re not alone.
After 15 years of parenting, it’s still a work in progress.
Amy Pearson is the Director of Admissions and Marketing at Mount Tamalpais School with over 20 years of experience shepherding students through admissions at private schools in the Bay Area. She lives in Mill Valley and is the parent of a 15 year old at Tamalpais High School, a 12 year old at Mount Tamalpais School, and a 4 year old currently attending Marin Horizon preschool.