[Kitchen 143] 5 parenting tips for braving back-to-school anxiety

Michelle Aventajado
[Kitchen 143] 5 parenting tips for braving back-to-school anxiety
Moving forward even in uncertain times shows our children that, together, we can do difficult things

Parents and students alike are preparing for face-to-face classes again, but making sure our kids are up to date on vaccines is just one way to keep them protected in the classroom setting. Here are five more ways to ensure a successful start to the most anticipated time of year. 

Establish a bedtime routine

Bedtime doesn’t have to be a struggle. If a child has had a full day at school, it is even more important to establish a quiet nighttime routine after a nutritious dinner. Many parents might not realize how important sleeping schedules are for our children. Keeping a strict schedule for sleeping will not only provide the opportunity for rest, but it also sets the stage for the learning that will happen during the next day.

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Of course, as children get a bit older, the amount of sleep that they require will diminish, but just remember that the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics state that kids aged 6-12 years old should have anywhere from 9-12 hours of sleep. Furthermore, making sure that your child eats dinner about 3 hours before it’s time for bed encourages proper digestion, and slowing down with a bath or a shower and eliminating screen time 2 hours before bed will enable them to wind down properly for the night.

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Keeping the room cool, choosing fun jammies, and reading a bedtime story also provides the right atmosphere for the best sleep. Try incorporating the diffusing of essential oils or even using the sleepy time collection from Tiny Buds for the smaller kiddos too.

Communication is the key

Elementary students do well with routines and clear expectations. Sharing what is expected each day helps children meet the daily demands that have shifted since Zoom school was replaced with hybrid settings.

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Explanations of when it is okay to remove masks, how to keep their hygiene kits handy, and the importance of keeping socially distant will prevent undue risks and the spread of the virus.

Essential equipment 

Just like you would prepare your kiddos for sports by buying all the right equipment, preparing for school includes making sure they have their uniforms, school books, backpacks, and lunch boxes. 

Selecting the right bag for your student of any age includes considering everything they will be carrying back and forth to school. Quality bags can often be handed down and are usually washable with compartments and features that even big kids will love.

HANDY. Trusted and loaded with features that make Herschel backpacks popular with high school and college students, these bags stand the test of time. Courtesy of Herschel
Everything in its proper place

Lunch bags are a vital component to making sure your child will have enough energy to make it through the day. Keeping sandwiches, fruit, and drinks cool and fresh allows for happy tummies full of goodness.

WARM OR COOL. Insulated with compartments to include table napkins and tableware, these lunch bags are even cuter when matched with a backpack. Courtesy of Herschel

But more than that, the right containers for food are even more important. Sustainable options like the Yumbox Presto, or portioned containers like the Yumbox Original make packing a cold lunch easy. It takes the guesswork out of packing meals and snacks even if parents are packing food in the early morning hours.

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As the rainy days are fast approaching, packing warm and hearty lunches and snacks that are ready for consumption with food jars keeps food at the temperature they were prepared. Perfect for afternoon snacks, rice toppings, or even porridge, the Hydroflask Food Jars can keep everything warm. Suppose your kiddo likes to bring yogurt or a cold fruit salad to school? Hydroflask Food Jars can keep everything cool too.

JUST RIGHT. Keeping food at the right temperature is key for happy tummies. Varied sizes new to the market address the need for warm food as we return to work and school. Courtesy of HydroFlask
Assess, adjust, and remember they are watching

The “new normal” has everyone wearing face masks when we leave the house, staying up to date on booster shots, and of course keeping an open line of communication with administration, faculty, and even teachers’ aids in your child’s school. Figuring out what works for each of our children, addressing and assessing their needs, is a constant work in progress.

Knowing when to keep our kids home, and being aware and mindful of exposure and protocols, while doing everything we can to boost their immunity with the right amount of sleep and healthy, nutritious food, will allow us to send them back to school with confidence.

Providing the proper equipment is part and parcel for our jobs as parents. More than providing for their physical needs, it’s also important for us to let our kids know that heading back to school is the best option for everyone. We can reassure our children and remember that they also feel our worry and anxiety, even if we don’t say it. 

Modeling a mindful example of being able to adjust and keep moving forward even in uncertain times shows our children that, together, we can do difficult things. It just may take additional time to get used to. –

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Michelle Aventajado

Michelle Aventajado is a Filipina American striving for an ever-elusive balance in everything she does. Advocating for individuals with IDD through Best Buddies Philippines, sharing her parenting journey with her daughter's extra chromosome through Momma 'N Manila, and churning out love of home and hearth through Kitchen 143 are just some of the things that fuel her passion and serve her God-given purpose.