Just a couple of thoughts on the back to school chaos
Most of the schools, preschool through high school, public and private are back in session by now! So it’s back to the routine and goodbye to the relatively carefree days of summer. Certainly it’s not easy getting everyone organized again: getting up early, carpools, buses, myriad after school activities, homework, meetings, and let’s not forget that many parents are juggling their own jobs as well!!
Back to school routines
As much as possible, try to set an after school routine. Never mind about the sports and classes that take up so much of the after school hours – when are these kids supposed to sleep? Can they ever just relax? A routine agreed upon by all involved ahead of time may help. Most kids need to unwind when they get home. How long and doing what is up to you! Going outside while the weather is still nice should be encouraged whenever possible. This doesn’t have to be a structured activity – just playtime. Older kids and teens may want to dust off their bikes or skateboards (don’t forget the helmets!). Social networking is a huge part of our children’s, if not our, lives. Give them time – but not unlimited! The homework loads can be daunting – come up with a plan to organize it that is flexible enough to accommodate different workloads on different days. Talk to your kids about how to get it done and still have time for themselves. Saying “do your homework and don’t get up till it’s done” rarely works for long!
Back to school family time
If it’s at all possible, try to have dinner as a family at least several nights a week. Ask your kids open ended questions about their day and what was most important to them! What about your day too? You may all really enjoy the answers! Dinner is also a good time to offer a healthy variety of foods – and tell your kids why!
Back to school bedtimes
Set a bedtime for kids of all ages and try hard to adhere to it! It seems next to impossible, especially by high school, but at least set a goal. Many youth, especially teens, get far too little rest. It’s hard to imagine, but teens need 9 hours per night! Fatigue impacts school performance, attitude and behavior!
Back to school health
Now that our kids are closed up in classrooms with their peers, there is the resurgence of illness! Please remind your kids about basic ways to try and avoid illness: hand washing before eating, keeping hands away from their mouths, not drinking out of the same containers as their friends (including water bottles), getting enough sleep, and eating well. Flu vaccine will also help your child 6 months and older avoid influenza. We expect to have our full supply of flu vaccine in October. If your child hasn’t been immunized yet this season as part of a regular visit, call mid-October for an appointment for flu vaccine.
If your child does get sick and need a visit to the doctor, remember we have walk-in hours Monday-Friday 8-12:30 and 2-4:30, or you can call for an appointment. We are also here for sick visits on Saturday from 9 until noon. These are not walk-ins; but if you call on Saturday for a sick appointment, you will get an appointment that day! You can also find information on medication dosing, and links to other resources on our website: www.greenwichpediatrics.com.
The school year can be hectic – but there are so many wonderful experiences! Try to find the time to enjoy those moments! It’s cliché, but they will be grown before we know it!