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How to Kick the Back to School STRUGGLE

Parents, we get it…Back to School can be a struggle! It is not uncommon to see some regressions or altered behavior originating from the added STRESS. Here are 5 ways to support your kiddos during these first couple months of the busy schedule of sports and being back in school

1. Increase adjustment frequency.
Whether it has been a week or a couple of weeks of your children back to school, I am sure that you are seeing and feeling the CHANGE. We are seeing it in the office with slight regressions in functions of activities of daily living (behavior, bedtime accidents, inability to regulate emotions, sleep/digestive issues.) The added stress on their nervous system can manifest symptoms in different ways requiring some positive neurological reinforcement via the adjustment. No worries parents. We got you and our main goal is to help your child adapt better to the stressors of life!

2. Enforce an earlier bedtime.

Your kiddos brains are going like the energizer all day long and that can be exhausting! The average child is not getting sufficient sleep for their age. According to the Sleep Foundation, a preschooler should get 11-13 hours of sleep per night, school agers 9-11 and high schoolers need 8-10 hours.

3. Clean up the diet.

Our brain must process physical, chemical, and emotional stressors. With Back to School and sports, there is an uptick of physical stressors via increased sitting at desks, looking at a screen all day, playing sports, carrying a heavy. Emotional stressors via homework, testing, pressure to perform well, the social school environment and ALL the things that come with that. Lastly via chemical stressors with those terrible school lunches. Let’s be real, my kiddos won’t even eat them! Although the previous listed stressors cannot be controlled you CAN clean up potential chemical stressors via planning healthy dinners, replacing the cupboards with clean snacks, increase fruits and veggies, pack your child’s lunch, replace sugary drinks (Despite phenomenal marketing ploys, Bubbly waters and Gatorade are NOT healthy) with water.

4. Just say NO!

Shout out to my 80’s babies that remember the above tag phrase. Sometimes we may have to decline an invite or two. I know how hard it can be, but WE CAN’T DO IT ALL. Prioritize and Respect your time, it is a valuable asset. In my opinion, more valuable than. I have recently had conversations with families that between sports, family, work, social engagements they are running non-stop and feel exhausted. I asked that parent if you feel that way, how do you think your child feels?!

5. Encourage “Relax” time activities.

Quiet time, my favorite time, lol. Our brain’s need time to settle and downregulate especially with the demanding schedules many kiddos have currently. Enforce “quiet time” where no electronic devices, or high energy play is allowed. Many parents want to “tire out” hyper kids so they encourage exhaustive sports/activities but really this just keeps these kiddos in Fight/Flight (Sympathetic) mode when we want to engage the Brake pedal (Parasympathetic) part of the nervous system. Great calming activities include reading a book, putting a puzzle together, playing ♟board games, arts/crafts, and any form of building play such as Legos.

We hope you found these tips helpful!

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