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How to Support your Child Starting School?

A child starting school, sitting on a rocket

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What is the best way to support your child starting school?

Starting school is a significant milestone in your child’s life, and it’s just as important for us as a parent. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding this transition, along with the need to establish new routines both before and after school. Within the school setting, your child will be immersed in learning, not solely on phonics, but also acquiring essential school customs like sitting attentively during assemblies, queuing for lunch, and locating the toilets. Having taught for 20 years, I’ve observed first-hand how tired children can become during the autumn term, especially in the Early Years.

Sleep plays a pivotal role during this phase as it supports growth and learning. During the deep phases of sleep, the growth hormones are released, and hunger or fullness hormones are regulated. Furthermore, a well-functioning immune system relies on sleep to produce infection-fighting proteins, which is particularly important when they’re exposed to new germs at school. Quality sleep also aids in consolidating what your child has learned during the day, a crucial aspect of their school experience.

How can you ensure your child gets the rest they need to thrive in school?

  1. Establishing a bedtime routine is beneficial. Include some quiet and relaxing activities before bed. Older children might benefit from journaling, using tools like the My Happy Self journal to develop healthy habits.
  2. A warm bath or shower can help your child wind down and lower their body temperature, promoting better sleep.
  3. Avoid giving sugary foods or drinks close to bedtime. If you want to treat your child after school, opt for an earlier time rather than right before bed. Healthy options like a banana, natural yoghurt, or low-sugar cereal can be bedtime snacks.
  4. Create a calming and dark sleeping environment in your child’s bedroom. Minimise distractions like too many toys, which can make it difficult for them to relax and fall asleep.
  5. Ensure your child gets plenty of exercise and playtime during the day, especially in the winter when outdoor break times at school may be limited. Some outdoor time after school can also aid in sleep.
  6. Be mindful not to overload your child’s schedule with activities after school, especially during the long autumn term filled with exciting events. Allow time for relaxation so your child isn’t overly tired by the end of the term.

If your child is struggling with sleep issues, our services are available for children up to the age of 10. Please schedule a free 15-minute call to discuss the situation and explore ways we can assist.

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