School is just around the corner (though some kids are already back) and you know what that means? My kids are going to have to stop living the lives of hard partying rock stars and get to bed at a decent hour. That’s right, time for Good Enough Mother to put the bedtime hammer down!
I never quite know how to do that and as a result, I have two cranky kids on my hands for the first couple of weeks of school. But no more! I asked my friend, Dr. Sue, aka, The Kid’s Doctor for some help. She gave me three, easy tips that you (and I) can start right away! So, right from Dr. Sue, here they are:
*PUSH BEDTIME BACK 15 MINUTES EACH NIGHT: Most of us have relaxed bedtime a little during the summer and children are staying up later and sleeping longer in the mornings. This is great during the lazy summer months, when schedules are different. But very soon morning alarms will ring forcing everyone to get up earlier. In order to try and minimize grouchy and tired children (and parents too) during those first days of school, going to bed on time will be a necessity. Working on re-adjusting bedtimes now will also make the transition from summer schedule to school schedule a little easier.
*GET UP EARLIER: At the same time, especially for older children, you will need to awaken them a little earlier each day to re-set their clocks for early mornings. Numerous studies have shown that elementary school age kids need about ten hours of sleep a night while ‘tweens and teens still need a good eight to nine hours of sleep. I wonder how many children really get the recommended amount of sleep? I think too few and I know from my own experience that teens seem to operate on a different sleep schedule.
BREAKFAST: THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY! Make sure your kids are not only getting good sleep but also good food. That means getting up early enough to eat breakfast. Like my mother used to say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day’” and that adage is still true. A good night’s sleep followed by a healthy breakfast has been shown to improve mood, attention, focus and overall school performance, as well as even helping to prevent obesity. Start off the school year on the right foot. It is easier to begin with good habits than to try and break bad ones.
Thanks Dr. Sue! I’ll try these tips just as soon as we get power and are able to resume a semi-normal existence in my house. If you have more questions, you can ask Dr. Sue yourself. So what are you most looking forward to about your kids getting back in school? And what’s your strategy for getting back on schedule? Come on now, share with your fellow GEMs!