August is half way through and school is around the corner. Summer vacation often brings more flexible morning and evening schedules. This can make the first weeks of school challenging and filled with attitude, resistance, and stress. Luckily, there are things to do now that lessen the load for September.
1. Re-start or establish bedtime routine. Children and adults fall asleep faster, and tend to rest better, when rituals are in place before sleep. This can be starting rituals around the same time, following the steps in order, and getting into bed ready for sleep at the designated bedtime.
An example evening schedule:
7:00 – no more electronics
8:00 – take shower
8:10 – put on pajamas
8:15 – brush and floss teeth
8:20 – read to self or have someone read to you for 20 minutes.
8:45 – lights out, in bed, ready for sleep.
2. Restart or establish a morning routine. Children and teens can get out the habit of getting up and having to leave the house ready for their day. Pinning down a timeline or an order of activities such brushing teeth, getting dressed, and eating breakfast.
3. For extra credit, have your child or teen wake-up within an hour of the same time both the weekdays and weekends. This may be a rough sell to teens, who prefer the afternoon wake up call. However, this helps our mind and body get used to being awake and productive when class is in session.