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The new school year changes your child's entire day: from waking up early, getting to school, lunch time, homework, after-school activities and finally an early bed time. Here are 10 ways parents can make going back to school easier:

  1. Bedtime Practice
    Adjust bedtime 15 minutes a night over several nights to make getting up less of a battle. Give some time to "practice" being alert and active early.
  2. Eat Breakfast
    Give your child nutritious choices that will keep his mind and body sharp until lunch. Protein, complex carbohydrates. Steer clear of a donut on the run.
  3. Practice the Route
    Whether your child is walking, taking a bus or driving herself, follow the route with them to give confidence – and safety.
  4. Plan B: What to do "If"
    What to do if your child misses the bus. Where to go if your child is afraid on the way to school.
  5. Yummy Lunch
    Nutritious doesn't have to be boring. Try finger foods like cheese, ham or turkey pieces. Carrots, broccoli or snap peas are crunchy alternatives to chips. 
  6. Stand up to Bullying
    Teach your child that being bullied in any form is not alright. Whether online or in person, tell your child to let you know of any threat.
  7. Don't Overbook
    Limit the activities your child is committed to. One sport or talent may be enough to manage with school work
  8. A+ in Homework
    Create a homework area with good lighting, sturdy furniture, pens and paper. Set a regular homework time and minimize distractions like phone, music or television.
  9. Cool Down
    Set a quiet time 15 to 20 minutes before bed for reading, quiet music or writing in a journal. Avoid television or electronic games. Keep the bedroom quiet. 
  10. You are the Key
    Let your child know you think this will be a great year in school. If your child is scared of going to a new school, teacher or grade – face the fear head-on and help your child meet the challenge. 

Troy Bracker, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic Millard

Dr. Bracker answers your questions about child health and parenting. Dealing with multiple generations of the same family makes medicine the most interesting and enjoyable for Dr. Bracker. This allows him to understand the family dynamics more clearly and how that affects the patient's health. This insight into the family is something he wouldn't have if he was only seeing one member of the family. Dr. Bracker works together with his patients to design a plan to address their health issues ...

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