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Preparing your kids for new academic year

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It’S back-to-school season; every September marks the beginning of another school session and a fresh start for children. As parents, it is pertinent to prepare them physically, emotionally and spiritually in their pursuit for academic success.

Parents should start by adjusting the children’s bedtime; this should be done early enough so that their minds can be prepared. It will also become a habit for them. Gentle winding-down of activities, such as bath time and reading before bed, can help a child to relax. It is also necessary to limit screen time to help them adjust and prepare. You can have the whole family stay off the screen in the evenings and practise keeping cell phones away all night.

Re-establishing routines that are necessary during the school era is necessary too. Ensure you write out the steps, preferably paste where your child can see, also engage and rehearse these routine with him or her. This could be having a bath, brushing their teeth or reading a book before bedtime.

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Parents can encourage independence by ensuring their children play active roles in preparing for the academic session. After all, they will be alone in school; let them choose and organise school wears, lunch bags and accessories. This puts them in the mood, and definitely, makes them eager and confident for the new academic year.

Parents should have a school meal plan to help their children maintain wellness and eat healthy in school. Children should be involved in choosing and preparing healthy lunches and snacks.

Help them find physical activities they enjoy. Take them for shopping, especially while getting healthy snacks and lunch items. Maintain this by sticking to regular meal plans.

Talk about safety and review outdoor rules, which include looking both ways before crossing the street, taking the same route every day, if they are walking, familiarising with crosswalk rules, and being cautious in talking to strangers. It is important to reassure the kids that being nervous in the first week of school is natural – even for teachers. You can help the children cope with these feelings by telling them stories of your first day in school and teaching them to breathe deeply and slowly to calm their nerves.

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As we now live in the post-pandemic era, it is still very valid to ensure the children are protected. Stock on facemasks and hand sanitisers so that it is adequately available. While keeping child abreast of safety precautions, it is also important that the school have put in measure in place too.

Ask relevant questions that keep your mind at rest and assure you of your child’s safety. It should include: how often do kids wash their hands? Are there station points for hand washing? What risk-free fun activity can children safely engage in? Are there quarantine facilities set up for children, who suddenly develop fever? And, how informed are their staff on updated health and sanitation practices?

In all, you should celebrate the start of a new school year, as it is a transition that they should enjoy. Try a back-to-school outing a day before resumption date. Give them educational items and take pictures to treasure these memories. It will definitely put their minds at rest, that the school season will be a good one.

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Parenting
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