Beat the Back-to-School Blah’s!
How a Career Nanny Beats the Back-to-School Blah’s!
Easy Ways to Keep Kids Motivated
You’re probably settling into your fall routine and the noticing the back-to-school blah’s creeping in. They strike around the mark of Fall, at my house. We are usually fighting a bug (or five) and the back-to-school anticipation has worn off. As a career nanny, I’ve seen countless children off to school each year. I’ve noticed that the first few weeks, particularly for younger kiddos, can be particularly rough. Between compromised immune systems, having their routine thrown out of whack and trying to navigate new social situations, kids often come home exhausted and overwhelmed. Here’s a quick list of tips I’ve found help kids, parents and caregivers navigate the new Fall schedule:
- Building up immune systems: Once your children start heading off into new Fall programs, whether it be school, enrichment classes or a combination of the both, they’ll find themselves in constant contact with an array of new germs. Practicing constant hand washing (particularly when coming back into the home) and talking to your kids about sneezing and coughing into elbows and tissues can be an extra layer of armor in the fight against cold and flu. We help kids remember the elbow cough by call it either: vampire cough or cough pocket.
- Establishing a routine with your kids: Children above all things crave routine- whether they know it or not! For older kids, think about creating a visual aid in the form of a weekly or monthly calendar, turn it into an art project and let them create magnets or stickers for their different activities, allowing them at the beginning of each week to fill out their weekly schedule, and refer back to it often. For younger children, visual aids are still a great cue- focus more on pictures that represent each activity and go over the schedule several times during the day, prompting the child to help remember the schedule. Once children are given the power of knowing what’s going to happen, activities and school become less overwhelming and more normative.
- Keep lunch and snacks filling and fun: Lots of times kids get so excited during the first few weeks at school they often forget to eat lunch- often leading to exhausted and worn out kiddos. Try including friendly little notes or drawings tucked in their lunch box, reminding them to dig in and enjoy that food! Having kids help make their lunch the day before can help give them ownership and a sense of accomplishment as well. Double check with schools and other programs about any food allergies and restrictions before packing.
- Open lines of communication: Most importantly, make sure you, any caregivers you work with, and your children are on the same page. Constant check ins, sharing favorite stories from the day’s activities and your enthusiasm will show your child that school is exciting and a great place to build memories.
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