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Aug 17, 2017

Healthy Living Gets You Ready for Back to School

If you’re a parent, you have definitely heard the advice that children enjoy routines. There are only a few weeks left before the start of the school year. And, that’s enough time to establish a healthy routine for your child. In tonight’s Healthy Living, we have some tips for moms and dads on getting their little ones organized for the new school year.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Summer is coming to an end and soon the kids across the country will be back in the classroom. They may not be ready for the summer fun to end. But, these last few weeks are instrumental in getting children back into school mode. Mental Health Therapist, Jenny Lovell, says the best way to do so is to ease them into their new routine.


Jenny Lovell

Jenny Lovell, Mental Health Therapist

“They need structure because it helps them to know what they’re supposed to be doing when they are suppose to be doing it. And what happens is that later on they follow rules because you have taught them the value of following the rules that you set. When they go to school they will fall into the same thing with teachers but we have to set the structure as parents. When children know what they are suppose to do they are not afraid. It gives them confidence. It really builds a lot of confidence for the babies when you set specific things for them; you teach them how to do that.”


One of the most important elements in that routine is a set bedtime.


Jenny Lovell

“Absolutely set a bedtime and you start early. When holidays, don’t stray too much away from that; little kids need their sleep. They really do. When you go to sleep, REM sleep is when the body repairs itself. Little kids are growing are developing bones and brains. They need sleep. As parents it is your responsibility to make sure you put these children to bed early and it becomes a routine. So they don’t fight you. When you allow children to do what they want. Who’s managing the household? Who’s running the household? It’s the child. So, now when you start to set a bedtime. Now you’re going to have resistance and you’re not teaching the child to follow rules. So what you think is going to happen when they go to school. They won’t follow rules. It carries over into school. So as a parent, you have a responsibility of teaching your child about boundaries, teaching a child about cleaning up for themselves and when they get to school it is an easy transition.”


If you’ve neglected implementing a bed time; Lovell emphasizes it is never too late to start.


Jenny Lovell

“Expect resistance if you haven’t been doing it; but you have to follow through. You have two weeks to do it. That’s enough time. You set the bedtime. If they are in primary school they should not be going to bed later than eight at night. Absolutely not! Let them know it’s bed time, start preparing. Brush your teeth. Do the things you need to do.”


There should include: bedtime, snack time, rest time, play time, homework time and when to brush their teeth. Lovell recommends finding tools on the internet that will help. Make charts with the list of activities of even images that lay out the child’s routine. The benefits of teaching them structure are life skills for the future.


Jenny Lovell

“One, you have a child who becomes very confident. They know what they are supposed to do and they learn that and as adults they’ll have that sense of responsibility of how to raise their own children. They will also have the amazing capability of setting times for themselves; follow through with things for themselves. It helps with self confidence and self esteem. This is what parents can do for kids. If your child has learned routine, they’re going to have good time management. These are kids you’ll be able to send to college and not worry that they’re going to waste your money. Because they have that sense of personal responsibility, structure, all these things that they need. You build very strong resilient people when you teach them how to self manage.”


Jenny warns parents not to be extreme in setting routines. Also, balance the activities of the children with rest and play time. Also, it’s ok to break routine here and there for special occasions but children should know it’s an exception.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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