For many kids, summer is a time to stay up late, sleep in and hang out with friends. Waking up for that first day of a new school year can be a shock if young children, teenagers, parents or caregivers have not come up with a routine.
In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Stephen Whiteside, a Mayo Clinic child psychologist, offers some tips for getting into a back-to-school routine.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.
Transitioning from a laid-back summer schedule to the structure of a new school year doesn't have to be a rude awakening. Dr. Whiteside says developing routines for morning, bedtime and any other recurring event can make things run more smoothly at home and at school.
"Routines are a natural part of life and just very straightforward, provide structure, help kids predict and expect what's going to happen," says Dr. Whiteside.
One way to help make the transition a little smoother is to give your family time to ease into the new routine.
"Taking a week or so before school starts to help kids start adjusting to waking up earlier, getting ready and having breakfast as soon as they get up," says Dr. Whiteside.
Dr. Whiteside says parents shouldn't stress if things don't go exactly as planned.
"Kids need to learn that they can handle change. And having a routine is good. Learning that you can handle life not following that routine is equally good," says Dr. Whiteside.