Expert Tips for Getting Kids in the Back to School Routine - WBAY

Expert Tips for Getting Kids in the Back to School Routine


As summer vacation nears the end, it's a good time to start easing the kids back into a morning routine.

What you do in the morning sets the stage for the day ahead.  That's why it's important to get your kids off to a good start.

Action 2 News This Morning spoke with a local grade school teacher who wants parents to know about a few key routines.

"Get them into that breakfast routine. Kids are waking up at all different times during the summer, so if we can get them into that breakfast routine right away that's a big help. Also start reading with them every single night," said Lara Manchego, teacher at Fort Howard Elementary School.

"Whether you read to them, they read to you, they read to the dog, cat, stuffed animal, whatever--just get them into the reading.  Getting them into that academic mindset."

Miss Manchego also emphasized the importance of going over your child's route to-and-from school.

Whether they're taking the bus or walking, get them familiar with their surroundings and make sure they know who they're meeting.

Another essential routine comes at bedtime.  

Doctors recommend children get eight to 10 hours of sleep a night.

Action 2 News This Morning spoke with a local pediatrician about why getting your body back in sync is so important.

"You have to be on time to develop melatonin, which comes from your brain. That gives you the appropriate sleepiness at the right time and allows you to sleep through the nighttime. That gets adjusted to the summer cycle which takes time to re-adjust that," said Dr. Gordon Haugan, Prevea pediatrician. 

"I encourage families for 2 or 3 weeks to ratchet back that bed time. Get closer to normal school bed time, get kids back in phase. Stay away from video imaging for a good 90 minutes before bedtime. That will also obstruct that production of melatonin in the brain."

Melatonin is a hormone your body produces at night and it's affected by light--even artificial light from an iPad or other device.

If you're using a screen before bed, you're not producing your sleep hormone.

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