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Back to School

“School days, school days, dear old golden rules day. Reading and Writing and ‘Rithmetic taught to the tune of a hickory stick.”

Do you remember that song? One of my most favorite times of the year is when the kids go back to school! All summer long, I miss seeing the buses go by with all those smiling faces pressed up against the window while enjoying morning coffee on the front porch. Times have changed – our kids are grown and gone, yet I find myself full of emotion heading into this school year. The teachers are anxious to be back, the kids are excited to see their friends, and our grandson is starting kindergarten.

So how do I as a grandparent help prep this curious, inquisitive five-year-old child? How do I keep him healthy, happy, and ready to absorb all this new input?

My first focus is on sleep for everyone in the house. Everyone needs rest and repair. I recommend starting a to-do list of evening activities and what time each will be completed. And then, most importantly, sticking to a set bedtime for your littles. It won’t be easy at first, but be diligent - after a couple of months, I promise, it will run like a well-oiled machine.

If you find your family struggling with sleep, the easiest, cheapest way to implement a good night’s sleep is to shut off all Wi-Fi by 10 PM and put all cell phones in airplane mode in the kitchen. Also, try exploring essential oils, particularly oils like vetiver, bergamot, and lavender. I love lavender spray on the pillowcases and diffusing bergamot in the living room 30-60 minutes before bed.

Our little ones are exposed to all kinds of germs and environmental toxins that they haven’t been around all summer, so it is time to stock your wellness basket with Epsom salts, baking soda, and new toothbrushes. Try a detox bath a couple of days per week. Bathe them in some lavender oil, baking soda, and Epsom salts and watch how soundly they sleep. The lavender relaxes the body, baking soda alkalizes and the Epsom salts contain magnesium, a mineral that is crucial to the body functioning. Just be sure they hydrate before bathing.

I don’t know if your little ones pop up like a piece of toast, but our new kindergartner starts building Legos and talking nonstop within the first 30 minutes of arising. So, what’s for breakfast? What fuel does this kid need to be successful in this new environment? This is the key to making sure your kiddo doesn’t crash and get hangry when they get home. The last thing you need is a cranky kid because they didn’t fuel correctly throughout the day.

Ask what their favorite veggie, fruit, protein, and carb is and get them involved. As a family, turn on some music and have some fun Sunday evening food prep. Our rule was always, you want to eat, you get involved. I come from a military background, discipline and respect were instilled at a very early age. Having your kids meal prep their lunches will make your life easier, saving you a ton of time. And don’t forget to buy some nontoxic wipes to keep the outside of those lunch boxes clean since they are exposed to so many germs.

Cheers to a fun and exciting school year!

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