Dare we say it?
The 3 words that kids dread but most parents celebrate, back to school.
It’s that time of the year again, when summer life as we know it is winding down and back to school prep is in full swing. We find ourselves chatting about improving this transition in the office constantly and wanted to bring some of that important dialogue here for all of you to employ!
Major transitions, such as returning to school, can cause anxiety and increased stress. Preparing ahead of time can help alleviate some of that pressure for your child and your family.
Schedule & Organization Success
One of the most difficult transitions for children when the school year resumes is getting back to a more regimented schedule. After a few months of more lax rules and routines, we know getting your kids back into a routine can be difficult. A great place to start is getting back into the early to bed, early to rise mindset at least a week or two before school starts. Daily activities that may have fallen off the summer schedule should gradually be added back in, so that it is less of a shock to their system on that first week back to school.
Getting organized before school starts will also help reduce last minute stress. This is great time to begin any necessary communication with new teachers, get their health checks completed (optometrist, dentist, family chiropractor, sports physical – the list goes on), order those school supplies, and get all the fall important dates on your calendar.
Because let’s be honest, if you don’t plan ahead for picture day it may turn out to be a hot mess, right?!
Visualizing and Planning for a Calm Transition
Have you already discussed with your kids where they are going on their first day back and their class schedules? We consistently see that children who struggle to manage their stress do far better when many calm discussions have taken place about transitions ahead of time.
Things to consider in these important conversations:
- How can you prepare them for what to look forward to in these transitions?
- How can you encourage them to recognize signs of stress as they arise in their body?
- How would you suggest they seek out help from a teacher or another trusted adult, if needed, to manage their emotions in the moment?
Another favorite strategy that we have discussed with countless patient families is the practice of setting goals and intentions for the school year.
Ask your child about what they would like to accomplish this year; whether it be learning to read, long division, or getting that scholarship. This is a great way to get them excited about new experiences and give them determination to reach their goals in the new school year. Some families have even done a school year vision board to set their intentions. Keep it fun and creative!
How pumped do your kiddos get to choose a new backpack each year?!
Making the decision between dinosaurs and glow in the dark outer space is not where the backpack prep should end…
Making sure your child is properly wearing their backpack will help reduce excess stress on their spine and posture (and hey, you remember we are chiropractors, right?!)
Here’s our 3 backpack tips to keep your kids walking tall on the first day and beyond:
- Your child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10% of their body weight. If that is difficult due to the weight of their books as they age, we suggest a rolling bag.
- When packing their backpack, their heaviest books should be closest to their back. This prevents shifts in their center of gravity.
- Make sure your child uses both backpack straps and keeps the backpack up as high as possible on their back. This assists in distributing the weight as evenly as possible to alleviate excess stress on the spine.
The secret back-to-school trick that countless Washington County families use…
As fall approaches, sports will resume, you’ll start to dread hearing those coughs and sniffles again, and focus/attention issues may begin to pop up. For all of these reasons, August- October are the top 3 months where we see children beginning chiropractic care in our office.
Put simply, chiropractic care helps your child adapt better to all the new school year stressors in their life.
How? Think of the spine as an internet router, with the nervous system being the WiFi signal. When your spine is out of alignment, it’s comparable to when your internet router starts flashing and your internet connection becomes spotty at best (“Why can’t I stream Handmaid’s Tale?!”) When your spine is aligned, that information superhighway is opened up and running at high speed, allowing your body to perform at its full potential. Blessed be!
As our practice is getting close to it’s 12th anniversary, we see more and more families every single year searching for holistic options to help maximize their child’s immune system, keep them playing at their best, and help them maintain laser focus to excel in school.
Do these goals sound familiar?
Countless River Shores parents know that back to school does not have to equal back to struggles because they have chiropractic care on their side.
Even teenagers in the office are excited to share chiropractic as a powerful tool to maximize quality of life.Check out what this 15-year-old River Shores patient has to say about his care:
“I have always had a hard time focusing. This impacted my school work, education, and home life. When my parents would ask me to do something, I didn’t have any ambition or wasn’t willing to complete what they asked of me. In addition, I was having a difficult time controlling my emotions. I would get overly emotional or angry at things that I shouldn’t have gotten upset over.
My mom was the one that came to me and suggested starting care at River Shores Chiropractic. I had no hesitation that this was the best thing for me, because our family has heard many people talk about the benefits of chiropractic care. Since starting care here at River Shores Chiropractic, I have noticed that I am able to focus more effectively, control my emotions better and get things done in a timely manner. I feel much better about myself and am taking initiative to get things done.”
As a parent, is this not the perfect depiction of our goals for our children? Happy, healthy, focused, and ready to take on the emotions that life is sure to generate!
Is this school year set to be the best one yet for your family? Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have on how to maximize this transition for your family!