3. Establish a new routine.
The AAP recommends caregivers get kids physically ready for a new school year by transitioning to the school schedule early. That way, your household won’t be adjusting to a new bedtime or wake-up time right when school starts.
“Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement in middle school, high school and college, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness,” the academy reports. The best amount of sleep for most younger children is 10 to 12 hours per night, and for adolescents (13 to 18 years of age) is 8 to 10 hours per night, according to the AAP.
The Child Mind Institute suggests discussing the new routine ahead of time. “Provide your child with simple, well-defined and easy steps for her routine so that she has a clear idea of what you expect and so that it’s easy to follow along with you,” says the institute.
No matter how your school year starts, caregivers may want to prepare their kids for the idea that changes happen, says the institute.
“Since there is a possibility that children who start school in person may be expected to switch back to remote learning, at least for some periods of time, it’s helpful for kids to know that you’re prepared for changes that may occur,” says the institute.
If kids are struggling long-term—for weeks, not days—with the transition back to school, consider talking with your child’s teacher, school counselor, or nurse. Or check in with your child’s doctor.
Walmart and Sam’s Club associates can get ideas for prioritizing the well-being of themselves and their families here.
» Safe Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic [Healthy Children]
» Mask Mythbusters: Common Questions about Kids & Face Masks [Healthy Children]
» Back-to-School Anxiety During COVID [Child Mind]