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How to prepare your child for school

How to Prepare Your Child for School

Every year, after the summer break, specialists of all kinds, including speech therapists, occupational therapists, and doctors, experience an influx of inquiries. Why does this happen? It’s because children are going back to school. Sometimes, teachers at school notice certain aspects of a child’s behavior and recommend consulting specialists. Parents, too, may realize that it was much easier with their older children at the same age. Additionally, children tend to get sick more often as they spend more time in a group setting, and the change in a child’s schedule after a leisurely summer doesn’t help.

Is there anything you can do in advance to ease your child’s return to school?

Visit Specialists in Advance

If you already have concerns about your child’s development, visit a speech therapist and an occupational therapist and ask them the questions that are bothering you while these specialists aren’t overwhelmed.

Before the start of classes, see a doctor even if your child is healthy. There’s a concept called a periodic visit to the doctor for regular check-ups with your child. What you may perceive as fatigue or distractibility could turn out to be anemia.

An active child may need help from specialists because they may struggle to concentrate during school lessons, which can affect their knowledge and grades. All of this can be addressed without medication if you address the issue in a timely manner.

Don’t wait for your child to start getting sick regularly when they begin school. Check your child’s vitamin levels in advance, which are crucial for their immune system, and correct them before the start of the school year to make the transition smoother.

Children Need Physical Activity

It has never been a problem before. Children were allowed to go outside as a reward for good behavior or completing their homework. However, nowadays, children prefer to sit in front of a computer screen rather than play outside with their peers. As a result, they may not even get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day for children of elementary school age and teenagers. Physical activity is extremely important for a child’s normal development, for their musculoskeletal system, brain development, and even for better sleep and appetite.

Monitor Screen Time

Limit the time your child spends in front of screens. A phone, tablet, computer, TV, and game console – they all represent the same blue screen. Here are recommendations from experts regarding the amount of screen time children can have per day:

  • Children under 2 years old: no screen time except for video chatting with family or friends.
  • 2–5 years old: no more than one hour of co-viewing with a parent or sibling.
  • 5–17 years old: typically, no more than two hours per day, not including time spent on homework.

Start getting your child used to the idea that their screen time will be limited during the summer. You won’t be able to hit these numbers right away; you’ll need to gradually reduce the time your child spends in front of screens.

Children Need Adequate Sleep

It’s hard to believe, but even a completely healthy child who doesn’t get enough sleep can have problems at school, exhibit poor behavior, and be inattentive. Moreover, serious issues can arise, including aggression. It’s one thing when a toddler experiences aggression that you can easily stop, but it’s quite another when your child is as tall as you are or even taller. Try to instill good habits in your child during the years when you can still easily control them.

Before bedtime, there should be no TV watching, video games, or mobile phone use. All of these activities involve blue screens, and blue light suppresses melatonin production. Therefore, an hour before bedtime, limit these activities. Instead, your child can listen to calming music, read a book, or engage in any screen-free and non-stimulating activity.”

How Much Sleep Should a Child Get?

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours of sleep per day.
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours of sleep.
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours of sleep.
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours of sleep.
  • School-age children: 9-11 hours of sleep.
  • Teenagers (14–17 years): 8–10 hours of sleep.
  • Young adults (18–25 years): 7–9 hours of sleep.

Throughout life, adults generally need 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

Pay More Attention to Packing Lunch

The foods usually packed in a child’s lunchbox are often highly processed and lack essential nutrients. Such nutrition isn’t healthy for adults, and children are still growing.

Remember that children emulate your habits. What you eat at home is what they will eat at home and at school. If you serve vegetables on your child’s plate but don’t eat them yourself, your child is likely to reject those foods. Eat together as a family and set a good example. You should first teach your child to eat the foods you plan to put in their lunchbox. You can start assembling the lunchbox during summer day trips and see how your child manages it and what they eat.

About Sugar

Refined sugar was never part of our diet until just over 100 years ago when it started being extracted from food. In the past, we had to consume a lot of fiber and vitamins to get even a small amount of sugar from fruits and vegetables. Now, refined sugar is easily accessible, and it contains nothing but sugar.

Excessive sugar in a child’s diet can affect behavior, mood swings, and lead to episodes of depression. Sugar also impacts dental health, has negative effects on cognitive development, can lead to weight gain, and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer as they grow older.

Examine the products you put in your child’s lunchbox. If it includes juice, check how much sugar is in it. If it’s cookies and muffins, read the labels and count the simple carbohydrates they contain. While children may eagerly consume sweets, if you want to provide your child with energy reserves and building blocks for a healthy body, their lunch should consist primarily of proteins, fats, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

Ensure Your Child Drinks Enough Water

Dehydration can overload the system, leading to cloudy thinking, decreased energy, sluggish cellular activity, and reduced waste elimination. Teach your child to drink water regularly. In school, there won’t be reminders about this. Schools typically don’t provide water filtration systems, so it’s a good idea to send your child with clean water.


Use Probiotics Periodically

You don’t need to give probiotics to your child all the time, but periodic courses can help improve their immune and digestive systems. Probiotics reduce the risk of early-onset asthma and eczema. About a month before school starts, you can begin a preventive course of probiotics. Autumn is when children start getting sick as they encounter new infections from various sources. Preparing in advance is a good idea. Probiotics can be added to dairy or coconut yogurts, and they can also be used for fermenting vegetables.


Does every child need to take good multivitamins? If your child eats well, has a healthy digestive system, performs well in school, doesn’t experience anxiety, and doesn’t complain of constant fatigue, then they are likely getting everything they need from their diet. However, in reality, this isn’t always the case. Special cases may require individual consideration.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Crucial for Brain Development

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help cognitive function and are an excellent source of energy. Currently, it’s better to use omega-3 fats as a supplement rather than through fish consumption. Why? It’s because of the toxins present in seas, oceans, lakes, and rivers. While fish oil can be purified, the same can’t be said for fish meat. Farmed fish have other issues – they are often fed antibiotics and hormones.

The membrane of every cell in our body consists of fats, and the brain is primarily composed of fats. Children need to consume essential omega-3 fats daily because their brains are still developing. This is why omega-3 supplements have such a positive impact on hyperactive children and other groups with special needs. However, omega-3 fats are essential for everyone. You can’t replace fish oil with vegetarian oils. Vegetarianism often leads to various deficiencies in adults. Let your child grow, and they can decide for themselves if they want to be vegetarians.

If you start preparing for school now, the return to school in September will be much easier for you and your child.