Life Parenting
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When kids head back to school after a holiday hiatus, the transition isn’t always easy. Education strategist Dwayne Matthews has some tips to help make students—and parents—get back into their regulation routine.

Bed time

This is a hard one. Over the break many children get to push bedtimes back. If they’re clever, they can really extend this.

Getting them back to their bedtime routine ensures a well rested child in school. Sitting through class for six hours without sleep is really hard. So to help them be successful, they have to have enough sleep. How much sleep is recommended depends on their age.

Talk about their first day back

What did they like and were there any challenges? Highlight the challenges and discuss a theme of perseverance and grit. Let them know this semester they need to work on these as a theme and look for opportunities to meet challenges head on and come up with solutions to deal with them.

Set a few simple specific goals

Instead of saying “I will read more”, try “We will have 30 mins a day for reading”, and provide them with their first three books. Set goals.

Help to develop a habit loop

This is so important: Cue, Routine, Reward. First, have a cue and internal reward identified. Then fill in the routine. For example, the cue could be practicing playing piano. The routine is a daily academic activity. The reward could be earning family games time.

Mindfulness before bed

Help the child sit and focus on their breath. There are lots of apps that help here as well. There is loads of research that shows mindfulness has a positive effect on stress levels, emotional control, academic performance, behaviour and a host of other things.

Remember that school is not a sprint its a marathon, so pace yourself and make a few small adjustments at a time instead of hoping to change everything all at once.