It's almost that time of year where school is out. If you're like me, you have all kinds of things to run and do right now. Parent-teacher conferences, recitals, after-school sports, and four million other things that all seem to be happening at once seems to be the theme right now. As much pressure it puts on us adults, it is just as much if not more for the little ones. The question arises, how do we help them cope with it?
It is actually very similar to what we do to help ourselves cope with high stress.
- Making sure that the kids get a good breakfast in the morning is one very big thing. But, there have been lots of studies done by places like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University that show that if you have a nutritious breakfast in the morning, it has a very positive effect on brain function for the day. Which is a pretty big deal with all of those end of year tests going on.
- A great night's sleep is more than a good idea, it's healthy! The same places that tell us that breakfast is good for us also tell us that sleep deprivation is bad. As much as the youngsters (and older kids, heck, even us adults) want to get away with staying up late at night, a consistent sleep schedule that provides at least 7 hours of rest is really important.
- Play time is vital.This may sound counter-intuitive, but making sure that the kids have time to play is a big help to the learning process. Studies have been done that show that children who have at least an hour of play time a day perform better on tests than their peers who have less play time. Now, playing on the computer or digital devices may not be as helpful as outdoor play, but it is better than nothing.
- Bonding time is super important. Just like the grown ups, kids want to feel that they are important, loved, appreciated, and supported. Taking time out of your day to spend it just hanging out with the kids is a huge thing that tends to be underestimated for some reason. But, if you look at it, when you're having a bad day, it helps to have some one give you a hug and do things to help you feel a little less awful. It's the same for kids. They're just like us, just smaller.
This list is by no means complete. But, they are four things that you can work into every day that helps the kids cope with this stressful part of the school year.
Until next time, have a great day!