Tough Love Tips For Better Back To School Sleep

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By Robert S. Rosenberg

SleepingWomanNear the end of summer we all have a hard time adjusting back to our regular sleep schedule – especially our kids! Here are 9 tips to help get your kids to adjust from their summer sleep schedule to their back-to-school sleep schedule:

* Gradually get back into the school sleep-wake schedule 2 weeks before school

* Maintain that schedule – even on weekends!

* Establish a relaxing bedtime routine

* Avoid vigorous physical activities after dinner

* Avoid video games, television and other electronics within 2 hours of sleep

* Avoid large meals close to bedtime

* Avoid all caffeine-containing foods and drinks within 6 hours of bedtime

* A dark room + comfortable temperatures = better sleep environment

* Be a role model- Establish your own sleep-wake schedule and STICK TO IT!

– Robert S. Rosenberg, DO, FCCP has over 20 years of experience in the field of sleep medicine. Board certified in sleep medicine, pulmonary medicine, and internal medicine, Dr. Rosenberg serves as the Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, Arizona and sleep medicine consultant for Mountain Heart Health Services in Flagstaff, Arizona. He is a contributing sleep expert blogger at EverydayHealth.com and his advice has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Prevention, Women’s Health, Woman’s World, Parenting, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among others. Dr Rosenberg is the author of Sleep Soundly Every Night; Feel Fantastic Every Day (Demos Health). He appears regularly on television and radio and lectures throughout the country on Sleep Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Rosenberg by visiting AnswersForSleep.com.

When Preparing For “Back To School,” Don’t Forget About Healthy After-School Snacks

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groupkidsPreparing a child’s lunch is an important part of the back-to-school routine, but experts at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital say that thinking about healthy after-school snacks is also important to consider.

“Having one-to-two healthy snacks in addition to three meals a day is what is typically recommended for school-aged kids,” said Dr. Teresia O’Connor, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor and pediatrician at Texas Children’s. “If you’re eating three healthy meals a day, then the snacks should be small, and parents should think of it as an opportunity to get good, healthy nutrition into their child.”

O’Connor recommends picking foods that will help children get the energy they need for the rest of the afternoon while also offering snacks that will help them meet daily nutritional goals. For example, it is recommended that children get at least five fruits and vegetables per day, so a way to achieve this is to offer fruit and vegetable snacks.

“Many kids come home after school having had an early lunch and are pretty hungry, so picking snack foods that will help them feel full, but not over full or stuffed is important. That way they are not ravenous by the time dinner comes around, but hungry enough to eat a healthy meal” said O’Connor.

O’Connor suggests incorporating proteins and whole grains for satiety and also combining fruits and vegetables with proteins and whole grains. See her recommendations here.

What to avoid

She notes that snacks to keep to a minimum are those with added or excess sugar, such as candy, cookies; as well as fried foods, such as chips. These snacks should be the exception, not the rule.

“Everything can be eaten in moderation, but those kinds of foods are the ‘every now and then’ types of food and not the ‘go-to every day’ as an afternoon snack,” she said.

Snacks can be important

O’Connor emphasizes the importance of giving children a healthy snack to be sure they are able to focus on their homework and have the energy to engage in playtime or sports. However, make sure that the snack is healthy and has good nutrients in it instead of a high-calorie snack that does not have many nutrients but adds a lot of fat and sugar.

Timing of snacks

What time children have a snack varies on what your family schedule is like. Snacks should not be eaten less than an hour before dinner, because children may then not be as hungry for dinner. A healthy snack allows them to avoid being extremely hungry for dinner and eating too fast or more than they need.

“Snacks provide that balance so that you go into dinner feeling a little bit hungry but not ravenous,” said O’Connor.

After-school care

If kids are in an after-school program, check to see if the program offers snacks and talk to program leaders to see if they are healthy. If the snacks are not healthy, talk to the program coordinator to see if you can pack something small and healthy for your child.

After-school sports

boysoccerIf children are involved in after school sports, it can be important for them to have a snack before they spend an hour or two in physical activity after the school day.

“Proteins and whole grains are going to stay with them a lot longer than a candy bar. The kind of nutrients you get from proteins and whole grains give you energy for a much longer sustained time than processed simple sugars,” said O’Connor.

Healthy drinks

It is also important to think about what your kids are drinking – be sure they are not taking in empty calories and excess sugars from their drinks. Try to avoid sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks.

Instead, try to incorporate a glass of water or a glass of skim milk.

“I find that a lot of kids don’t get adequate hydration during the day,” said O’Connor. “Try getting your kids used to drinking a glass of water when they get home to make sure they’re keeping their bodies hydrated.”

Older children

Many middle school and high school students arrive home before their parents, and O’Connor says parents should be sure they are creating an environment where these teens are more likely to pick healthy snacks rather than unhealthy snacks. This means making sure foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers and low-fat yogurt without a lot of sugar are available to them and making sure that the pantry is not full of potato chips, candies and cookies.

“Think ahead of time about how you are setting up your pantry and refrigerator and make the environment at home a healthy one,” she said.

Set the example

There are a few things that parents can do to help their kids make healthier choices. The first is getting them involved in helping you pick healthy snacks at the grocery store – they are more likely to eat the foods if they are able to choose themselves. Also, parents should act as role models for healthy eating. If parents come home and have a glass of water and fruits and vegetables, their children are more likely to follow this.

O’Connor also notes that in some cultures, the after-school meal is the main dinner and says that this still fits into a healthy diet as long as there are still only three meals and one-to-two snacks a day.

– Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine

Gain Your Confidence Back By Eliminating Ringworm Spots

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By Evelyn Kelly

spiceRingworm is no worm but a fungal infection that affects the skin at various places like scalp, nails, arms, legs, back and the groin area. Different types of ringworm affect different parts of the body. Since, it is highly contagious, immediate attention is required. The spots formed as a result of ringworm are embarrassing. Luckily, they can be cured at home with some simple yet effective methods.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a powerful natural fungicide. Take 100% tea tree oil.

Method:

• Clean the area

• Apply the oil directly with the help of a cotton ball

• Repeat it 2-3 times in a day

With regular application, the spots may take a minimum of two weeks to clear off.
Warning: Some people are allergic to tea tree oil. They should dilute the oil before applying on the spots.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal properties which makes it an excellent treatment.

Method:

• Soak a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar

• Smear the infected part of the skin with this cotton ball

• Repeat it 4-5 times in a day

Stinging sensation is normal. Dilute the oil to reduce the affect if you experience a strong sensation.

Aloe Vera

The gel contained in the leaves soothes the itching and irritation caused by the fungus besides preventing ringworm spots.

Method:

• Cut the fleshy leaf

• Take out the gel

• Apply the gel directly on the affected part of the skin

• Let it dry and leave it overnight

• Wash it off the next morning

Repeat the procedures till the spots fade off.

Garlic

Garlic has a natural anti fungal agent, ajoene in it. This is highly effective in preventing fungal infections like ringworm.

Method:

• Take a garlic clove

• Cut in into two pieces

• Rub it in the affected part

Or

Make a thick paste of it and put it on the affected part

Or

Keep the clove slices on the affected skin and cover them with a bandage
Leave overnight. Wash it off in the morning.

Turmeric

This kitchen spice is a wonderful natural healer of ringworm.

Method:

• Extract juice from the root of turmeric.

• Apply it directly on the spot with a cotton ball

• Repeat this at least 2-3 times in a day
Keep doing it till the infection subsides.

Lavender oil

The oil alone is capable of killing the fungus completely due to its strong anti fungal properties.

Method:

• Apply a few drops of lavender oil on the infected skin

Another remedy using lavender oil

Method:

• Mix a few drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of jojoba oil
Apply it directly with a cotton ball. The infection will subside in a few days

Mustard seeds

Mustard seeds are helpful in preventing ringworm.

Method:

• Make a paste by grinding some mustard seeds

• Apply directly on the infected skin

• Let it dry

• Rinse off

• Repeat it 2-3 times in a day

The spots will be eliminated in a few weeks.

Papaya

Papaya has an enzyme papain in it which helps in eliminating ringworm spots.

Method:

• Cut the fruit

• Take the fleshy slices

• Place the slices on the affected part

• Bandage them with a plastic wrap to keep them at one place for a few hours

• Remove the bandage

• Wash off

Vinegar and salt

A combination of vinegar and salt is highly effective against ringworm.

Method:

• Make a paste of vinegar and salt

• Put it on the skin directly

• Let it stay for 4-5 minutes

This treatment heals ringworm really fast.
These were some methods to eliminate the ringworm spots completely. If you are suffering from ringworm, employ these methods.

– Evelyn Kelly is a fitness enthusiast and a fellow writer. She contributes for various online health publications that mainly cover skin care measures, health, fitness and sports. She guides people about skin infections such as ringworm, herpes, impetigo, staph, MRSA etc. I feel your platform is best to share my views. She is very expressive and always wants to share her professional experience with her audience.

Body Weight And Back Pain

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By Joyce Del Rosario

bellyBody weight can be simply defined as, the weight which totally represents our maximum life expectancy of our whole body structure. It varies according to persons, age, gender etc.The body weight basically comprises of muscles, bones, muscle tendons, bony ligament, body organs etc.The ideal weight can be accessed through body mass index in an individual. Normal body mass index is 18-24, in which we measure height and weight of an individual. Body weight can be expressed in terms of kilogram.

• Classification of Bodyweight:

Body weight can be classified in many ways but the most common terms used in our society by doctors and therapists are; Underweight, Normal, Overweight and Obese. This classification basically defines the overall body structure of an individual, how much, muscle, mass is present in our body, how much bony fluid like calcium is presentin our bones, and density of water present in our bones. If we look with a greater vision of interest among the following classification, we will be come to know about that individuals who are:

* Underweight:

These individuals have a very much less composition of fat and the BMI score for the underweight would be less than 18.5.

* Normal:

The second category underlines those individuals who have normal fat composition, and having a normal and healthy BMI score between 18.5 and 24.9.

* Overweight:

This category represents those individuals who are having their body structure components more than their body needs, they are having excess of body fat and their BMI score between 25 and 29.9, which is also a dangerous thing and must be considered at its start.

* Obese:

This category reveals the body mechanisms of those individual who are too much bulky and have a BMI of more than 30. Such people are basically at risk of getting affected by serious diseases like diabetes mellitus and cardiac problems.

– – Back Pain A Pain of the Era!!

seniormanBack pain can be usually defined the pain which is chronic in nature and lasts for about 7-12 days. One of the most highly occurring causes is postural behaviors of our young generation that also leads us towards the undesirable effects and causes of back pain. A number of experimental studies were designed to help the individuals with causes of back pain that are mostly over linked with our body weight. One of the most fascinated results of the study was found on the research of Ross et al, in which he explained the reason that After checking the results of calculation from BMI index it was found that mostly underweight people are affected by the back pain in most of the U.S countries, and this could be the most concerning reason of this modern era.

• Causes of Back pain:

* According to Kleinberg et.al (2007), it was found that about 95% causes of back pain occur with the genetic reason of self-limiting and benign problems.

* Heavy doing work like handling the machines in a factory also causes back pain.

* Patient presenting with past history of any of calcium and mineral intake problems would also result in back pain.

* Psychological factors like when one feels depressed or very much stressed from a tiring and unhand able situation, then also Back pain occurs.

• Treatment for Back pain:

Back pain is one of the chronic ailments that must be treated on hand because if not treated properly, than it grows the area for a large number of serious diseases, for which the treatment afterwards can become very difficult.

– Joyce Del Rosario is a career, education, and health blogger, connected with Pain Management in Avondale, one of those clinics who are helping the affected individuals with back pain by the use of different types of exercises like leg crunches, hip extensions, wall stretches. This is helping the individuals on the path for their survival in much better and hospitable way.

Did You Know Your Feet Can Make Your Back Hurt?

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By Dr. William Charschan

doctorA study in the Medical Journal of Rhumatology1 suggests that women who walk with flat feet are 50 percent more prone to lower back pain than those who have high or normal arches.

While this has been suspected for many years, and researchers such as Brian Rothbart2 have written about this with his concept of bio implosion, there is more to back pain than just flat feet, high arches and being female.

Body style and asymmetry, combined with flat feet or lower arches almost guarantees you will experience lower back pain. The reason is because flat feet are inefficient, causing the leg to be in a poor alignment anatomically with the ground, and as a result, is more stressful on the ankle, foot, knee and lower back as the person walks. If one leg is different than the other, it will creating an unequal loading on the pelvis creating a condition called tortipelvis.

The reason this causes lower back pain is because the body as you walk engages the pelvis first and the legs second. If the pelvis works differently on one side, as compared to the other, the effect on the pelvis is similar to taking a towel and twisting it.

This torsion, with the unequal weight distribution it causes affects the way you walk, and the myofascia which is the connective tissue that covers the muscles surrounding the pelvis distorts the pelvis

This torsion, with the unequal weight distribution it causes affects the way you walk, and the myofascia which is the connective tissue that covers the muscles surrounding the pelvis distorts the pelvis. The end result is sacroiliac pain, leg pain, knee pain, foot pain and even upper body and neck pain as the upper body compensates.

The effect is lower back problems and chronic pain. The solution is to find someone who understands the problems are greater than just looking at the lower back; you need a healthcare provider who looks at the entire body.

The book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain is a great resource for anyone who suffers from lower back pain since it explains what happens, allows people to understand why they hurt and how to find the right healthcare provider to help them get relief.

Often people see chiropractors as being the most effective resource for lower back pain, however, there is more to lower back pain than just the lower back. Find someone who looks at you, not just the symptoms you arrived with for the best relief of lower back pain.

– Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain is available through Amazon.com and other booksellers. Dr. William Charschan is a chiropractic sports physician with offices in Scotch Plains and North Brunswick NJ. Find out more by visiting www.backfixer1.com

References

1. http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/09/17/rheumatology.ket298.abstract
2. http://www.rothbartsite.com/uploads/Chronic_LBP.pdf

10 Moments Your Kids Will Love To Look Back On – Part 2

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Continued from part 1 of this article…..

boyssportsTheir First Sports Team – Nearly every kid joins a sports team at least once in their life, and you’ll want to make sure that you have evidence of their first sports experience documented in their online journal. From team pictures to shots of your child in action, as well as stats that outline how successful – or unsuccessful! – their team was and favorite memories and stories from the season, your child will love looking back through the memories of their first sports experience.

Halloween Costumes – You can almost always tell what year it was based on a child’s Halloween costume and the character they’re portraying, and having documentation of each year’s costume is sure to evoke smiles of joy from your kids. Make sure to include fun details with each picture, such as pumpkin carving pictures, any costume contests they may have entered and where they went trick or treating.

Events and Festivals – If your family makes it a point to go to certain festivals and events each year, such as the Renaissance Festival, certain sporting events or even your neighborhood or church’s annual fall festival, then make sure to include as much in your child’s online journal. Pictures of your child in game day colors, gnawing on massive turkey legs and delighting over getting their face painted are memories that your child will look back on with fondness.

schoolbusThe First Day of School – Nearly every parent documents their child’s first day of school each year, and these pictures are a must-have in your online journal. Include pertinent school year details, such as the grade they were in, who their teacher was, what school they attended and what they were most looking forward to that year. Try and do a follow up post at the end of each year that details their favorite projects, subjects and memories.

Their First Car – Whether it’s exactly what they wanted or a clunker in need of serious work, there’s nothing like your child’s first car, and seeing pictures of it is sure to evoke a slew of good memories. While it likely won’t ever sit in the driveway for very long, try and capture at least a few pictures of your child standing next to it and behind the wheel.

High School Graduation – Nothing signals the end of an era and the beginning of the next big chapter in life quite like graduation, and your child’s high school graduation deserves a special spot in her online journal. Along with pictures of your graduate and candid shots from the ceremony, include what your child will be doing now that high school is over and what her hopes and dreams for the future are. Whether those dreams turn into a reality or not, the documentation of them is sure to transport her right back to the bittersweet feeling of graduation every time she reads about them.

Submitted by Teresa Blecher of kidmondo.com

10 Moments Your Kids Will Love To Look Back On – Part 1

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familyfunAs you fill the entries in your child’s online journal over the years, you’ll likely find that they are comprised of a mix of memories that are both interesting and mundane. Some will be nothing more than a quick note telling about a random day, whereas others will commemorate large-scale events that immediately take you and your child back to a particular time and place. There are certain moments your children will love looking back on years down the road, whether it’s a memory they possess or something that happened that has slipped away from them over time. Throughout your journaling, be sure to include these ten different moments in time.

Their Birth – While your child won’t remember anything from their actual birth day, they’ll never tire of looking through pictures and recounts of the day they entered the world. In addition to pictures, be sure to include pertinent information, such as their birth stats, the doctor who delivered them and the hospital where they were born. Chronicle who came to visit, memorable details of the day and the emotions you felt throughout the experience.

Birthday Parties – Every kid has a soft spot for their own birthday, and having an array of pictures from each birthday party over the years will help retell their life story. As each birthday approaches ask your child a variety of questions that capture the year, such as who their best friend is, what their favorite color is, what their favorite food is and what they most like to do with their time. This is a great way for your child to see their own evolution over throughout the years.

familywalkWeekends with Grandparents – Whether your kids are lucky enough to see their grandparents on a regular basis or only get to see them a handful of times each year, it’s important to document as many of these visits as possible. Since grandparents are only in our lives for a fleeting amount of time, having photographs of the time your kids spent with them as well as details from each adventure they went on together will preserve some of their time spent with you and your partner’s parents.

Family Vacations – Family vacations are usually a mix of over the top excitement and exasperation. They also provide some of the best memories for kids, so it’s important to immortalize the time you spend taking family vacations in your child’s online journal. From Disney Land to the Grand Canyon to camping in obscure places to horrific experiences that evolve into hilarious stories, the vacations you spend together as a family are some of the best memories you’ll make.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

Submitted by Teresa Blecher of kidmondo.com

Back To School Resolutions – For Parents

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By Adelle Cadieux, PsyD

kidsunningtogetherSummer can be a very enjoyable time for families. With all the fun to be had, it also tends to be a time when families fall out of habit with some of the basics that help kids be healthy and successful during the rest of the year. As school sets to resume soon, this is a great time to begin re-establishing, or establishing for the first time, healthy habits. New Year’s is not the only time to resolve to life improvements. Parents can make resolutions timed with the start of a new school year that will bring about healthier, more balanced lives for the entire family.
Consider some of the following new school year resolutions or create your own.

• Establish a consistent sleep schedule — This will help kids get adequate sleep, which improves concentration, memory and promotes learning. It also helps kids feel better, behave better and not be so irritable. Going back to school also means being around more kids which can equal more germs. Sleep helps the immune system and can be one of the many actions your child can take to staying healthy.

• Make breakfast a priority — Getting kids out the door in time can be challenging, but skipping breakfast to save time or sending them out with an easy-to-take food like a cereal bar, is not adequate to help them be healthy. Breakfast helps kids to have better energy, endurance and focus. Breakfast can also help keep kids from overeating later in the day, which can lead to weight issues. Sitting down to a healthy breakfast that includes protein is preferable, but if your child needs to have a take-with-you breakfast, plan ahead. Make yogurt smoothies or an egg and try low fat cheese on whole grain.

kidseatinghealthy• Don’t stop with breakfast. Lunch and after school snacks are important too—Skipping meals can lead to irritability, decreased concentration, and overeating later in the day. Plan for healthy lunches to keep kids feeling good during the school day and to replenishing their strength so that they can keep up the hard work of learning. Most kids are hungry after school. To keep kids from overeating, either after school or at dinner time, plan ahead for a healthy snacks. Great snacks combine a little protein with a carbohydrate. Try a snack of fruit and veggies with piece of string cheese or pretzels and dried fruit dipped in peanut butter. But, don’t snack if you’re not hungry.

• Structure the evening — when kids have a consistent schedule, they are better prepared and understand expectations. Set a specific time and place for completing homework. Build in physical activity. Even if the weather isn’t good, you can be active inside too. Being active with your child is a great way to have family time, but also models healthy behaviors for your child. Set a consistent time for dinner and sit down to enjoy the time together as a family.
By getting kids on track with their sleep, eating, physical activity and evening structure, parents can help keep their kids healthy and ready to learn. And, they can create a balanced home in the process.

– Dr. Cadieux, pediatric psychologist, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, MI, is a member of The American Psychological Association (APA), APA’s Division 54: Society of Pediatric Psychology, and Division 54 Pediatric Obesity Special Interest Group. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is Spectrum Health hospital.

Going Back To School Without Separation Anxiety – Part 2

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

groupkidswbgHelping teens and tweens minimize back to school anxiety involves being there emotionally and physically if they need to talk, but also allowing them time to explore healthy coping mechanisms on their own. Parents who structure a healthy school environment for their child are mentoring the importance of education in their family. Below are suggestions that can also help.

1. Prior to school have a schedule of when phones and computers will be turned off for the night. Kids need a structured routine and bedtime just as much as small children do.

2. Discuss transportation. Who will take whom where. Who is driving (and who will be with them). Make sure you are clear about the route they will take.

3. Your child should be responsible enough to do their own laundry, clean their own room and have their clothes ready for school each day. Doing too much for your child, or taking care of what they are capable of doing on their own is a no-no.

4. Know your child’s classes and which teacher your child has for each class. Attending the open house night prior to classes beginning is very helpful for children and their parents.

5. Talking to your child prior to the semester about which classes may require additional tutoring is helpful. Your child can plan their after school activities easier and with less stress if they know you are supportive with them getting additional help if they need it. Anxiety is the worry of what will happen prior to it ever happening. The more parents can help alleviate the worry, the better.

6. Reassurance goes a long way! Kids need to know you are on their team, with things they worry about.

As your child heads off to college you may think your days of separation anxiety are over. Just the opposite is true. When kids leave home, it’s a transition for the child as well as the parents. Every parent feels somewhat emotional when they drive away and leave their child behind to begin a new life on campus. Whether you have looked forward to this day or dreaded it, it will happen, and preparing your child as well as yourself will minimize your anxiety. These few suggestions will help:

1. As much as possible reassure your child that they will do well and that college is a wonderful experience.

2. When you let your child off on campus this is not the time to insist on hugging, kissing or making a scene. Many kids aren’t comfortable with public displays of affection, so writing a letter of how you feel about your child and leaving it somewhere where they can read it in private will be appreciated by them.

3. Call your child or communicate with them in the same manner you did in high school, but let them set the pace.

4. Plan a bi-monthly or monthly family meal where your child will come home and reunite. For families who live far away Facetime or Skyping are wonderful ways to reunite.

5. Remind your child when they are concerned or worried that you are near, and that you have every confidence they can handle the situation.

Separation is part of life, and learning how to separate from the ones you love most is a lifetime lesson. If your child has difficulty, it will usually pass, but when it doubt, speaking to a counselor is always helpful. Reminding your child that mistakes are learning tools and that we all make them, helps lessen their anxiety when they are trying to be perfect in their new surroundings. Most children I talk with tell me the one thing mom and dad gave them that pulled them through many anxious transitions was the fact that they could always go home. Kids need to know their family will always be there no matter where home (geographically) is.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.

Going Back To School Without Separation Anxiety – Part 1

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

kidsarmsupBackpacks, new clothes and packing lunches are buzz words this time of year. But for parents it can bring worry and concern about their little one. Beginning school for children is a time of excitement and anxiety. Minor separation anxiety is normal. We witnessed normal child anxiety when a stranger would reach out to our 8-month-old babies. We witnessed it again until the child was about two when we dropped our child off somewhere new. Mild separation anxiety is a normal phase for both mom and children. We experience it again when our kids go off to college.

In young children, there are several factors that influence separation anxiety, including a child’s temperament, as well as how well he/she reunites with parents and teachers. How the parent responds is very important, because a parent’s behavior is what many children react to.

How a parent can help a young child minimize separation anxiety:

* Develop a routine.
Children feel safe when they can count on what will happen. A routine that is the same each day helps children predict events and adds structure to their life. They know when mommy or daddy leave, they will come back.

* Don’t be late.
Talk to your child for several days preparing them for their day. When you leave them, tell them after nap time or whatever the schedule is, I will be there. Then be sure you are there. If for some reason you have a conflict and cannot pick them up, tell them who will and what they can expect. This helps your child feel secure and in control.

* Stay positive.
If you act worried, concerned or weepy, your child will follow your emotion. Be upbeat about the activities and meeting new friends. Whatever the child enjoys, make sure you promote that activity as much as you can.

* Follow the instructor’s rules.
Your child will form a relationship with their teacher and whatever the teacher says is your child’s truth. You may know more about a topic than your child’s teacher, but they will correct you if your story doesn’t match their teacher. If your child’s teacher has a rule, respect it as much as possible at home as well. An example is not allowing certain words to be said. No matter what the word is, if it is negative at school, do not say the word at home.

* Know and promote your child’s school friends to meet outside of school.
Helping your child build friendships will help ease their school anxiety. If you know someone in the class, inviting that child over with their parent prior to school will help your child adjust more easily.

* Develop a bedtime routine at least two weeks prior to the school year beginning.
This will help your child feel more rested.

* Let your child help you pack their snack, lunch and backpack for school with necessary items for the first day of school.
This list is usually sent to parents prior to the first day of school.

* Build confidence.
When your child is making a new transition, such as beginning school or starting a new grade in school, talking about it, reading stories about school, and watching cartoons about the subject matter help alleviate worry and fear about the unknown. A parent’s goal should be to help their child feel confident that they will be well cared for.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.