With the start of a new school year just around the corner, it's time for parents to strategize. Whether your child is starting at a new school or returning for another year of learning and growing, he or she needs your support.
How will you help your young student succeed? Consider the following tips:
1. Make a healthy meal plan
The foods your child consumes have a direct impact on his or her ability to learn and use new information. The University of California reported that nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids affect the physical structure of the brain.
Since our bodies cannot produce omega-3, we must consume foods that contain this important nutrient. Walnuts and kiwifruit are two easy and nutrient-rich snacks to send with your student. Fruit makes a good snack choice, because not only does it provide many vitamins and minerals, but also a slight boost in energy from natural sugars.
For lunches, the guidelines at ChooseMyPlate.gov can help you create a healthy meal plan. Growing bodies and brains require a balanced diet to achieve their full potential.
2. Encourage reading at home
Change is difficult. Moving from a relaxed, lazy summer into a hectic school year may add stress to the relationship between you and your child. According to the National Library of Medicine, stress can affect children in a number of ways, including diminished quality of sleep, angry outbursts and stomach aches.
To ease your child's transition into the new school year, encourage him or her to read during the summer. If you can, find out what subjects will be covered in the year ahead and try to get your young one interested in the topics.
3. Reward good behavior
Positive reinforcement of good behavior at school can encourage your child to act appropriately in the classroom. While there are many potential reasons for bad behavior, children often act out as a way of seeking attention – never mind if it's positive or negative.
Rewarding good behavior with extra free time, weekend trips or a special dessert, to name a few options, can promote a healthy attitude toward school. It's important to reiterate why you're rewarding your child, so they understand that you're paying attention to their school performance.
4. Always be prepared for accidents
The rush to school is something most parents are familiar with: a late night leads to a hurried morning, and breakfast is served on-the-go as you attempt to beat the first school bell.
In such situations, spills and sticky fingers are inevitable. Keep a portable container of wet wipes in your vehicle to easily clean your child's face and hands before they sit down for the first lesson of the day. Fragrance- and alcohol-free wipes are ideal for kids with sensitive skin.
A quick cleanse with a fresh wet wipe and one more comb through the hair will help your child make the best first impression for a new school year.
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