It is time to get back from vacation and get back to work. It is the very festive back to school activity most parents love to celebrate and most children dread. Your child spends most of their life in school, most of their day is spent being enlightened, inspired, and educated. You would think that there is no need to worry about them at school as they seem to have friends or have teachers that look out for their health and safety. However, this may be far from the truth.
Children are at their purest form of being human. They absorb knowledge like a sponge and they see and hear everything, even if they don’t quite understand it yet. Your child’s health and wellbeing at school is paramount to their success in their studies and their lives.
Schools in Qatar have taken many initiatives to ensure safety at schools, and healthy options of food to be available, but you can’t be too careful. What your child eats, how they sleep, and what they do directly affects their performance and perfectly reflects yours.
Here are a few health tips you need to know about for back to school:
Child vaccinations in Qatar are taken very seriously. Getting vaccinated for school is actually a very common thing all over the world. The most important being right when you start school. Make sure that you know the immunization schedule in Qatar and keep up to date with all the new epidemics that require vaccinations. Doing your research could mean saving your child from nights of discomfort.
No child can go to school without a little bit of shopping first. Whether it is for their clothes, shoes, bags, or food, you should include your children in the back to school shopping. They may cause a bit of a chaotic experience, but I assure you it works to keep them prepared for school themselves. Including your child in the preparation is essential to make them feel the responsibility of becoming older and being in school. Especially for those in elementary school, if they are helping in preparing it might just make them excited to go back to school.
Studies have shown that children between the age of 9-12 require more preparation to get back to school after a long holiday. Allow your child to choose their own bags and shoes, they would be more likely to look after them longer if they themselves chose it.
Read more about how to prepare next week!
This is significantly important in the preparation for school. After a long summer break filled with Ramadan and Eid festivities, travel, and maybe lots of breaks of eating healthy food, your child relies on sleep to be the number one source of comfort and relaxation.
Staying up late and sleeping all day during vacation may have also shifted your child’s hormonal balance. Starting with organized and strict bedtimes can be the answer to perfectly preparing your child for school.
Stat off slow this week. Start by actually asking your child when a good bedtime would be, tell them to consider that they require at least 8 hours of sleep during the night. Once they come up with an answer, make a deal with them on it. For each time, they go to bed at that time for the next week, you give them another half an hour on their ipad or playtime with their friends. Your child will feel more responsible and more included making them want to follow the initiative.
For difficult children that don’t want to participate in your deal, put a strict bedtime of around 8 or 9pm and slowly remove another half an hour from it to your ideal bedtime. You can also immerse your child with activities so that they may sleep better at night. Avoid letting your child watch TV or be in front of strong light for at least 1 hour before bed, this will help ease them into their dark bed faster.
Showers in the morning may be wonderful for your child. However, remember that Qatar’s weather is almost always hot and humid. Letting your child take a shower in the morning may keep them fresh, but it may also make them feel dizzy or nauseous, ask your child what they prefer, perhaps a warm shower at night works better for them.
Tweens may be having some issues of their own, pay attention to signs of withdrawal from your child wearing the school uniform. Talk to your child about the importance of hygiene and cleanliness. Allow your child to pick their product with a little guidance, chances are they will choose something that they have already seen you use. Make sure your child also uses wet wipes and limit their use of anti-bacterial gels as they may be dangerous when eating food.
The family grocery list doesn’t really change. However, this year, consider making healthier choices. Options in the stores may have changed in the past few months in Qatar and exploring new, more healthy options might be just what your child needs to have a great new school year. Allow your child to make their own lunch boxes as that might encourage them to choose better and think of what they are eating. Most schools in Qatar don’t allow sweets and some kinds of snacks for allergy or sugar intake. However, help your child find a good snack to eat that they can also share with their friends.
This is not a bad time to allow your child to watch you cook or help them in making some yummy snacks for themselves and their friends at school. Be careful of packaging, glass may be the perfect way to take water and preserve food, but it is too heavy and can be dangerous for your child to carry. There are many environmentally, and child friendly packaging that you can use.
This is absolutely pivotal to pay attention to. Your child starts off school with no worries, maybe, but within about a week, he/she will come home with home works, projects, issues with their classmates, and stress from peer pressure. It is vital to talk to your child even before school starts to let them know that their worries are important and will be heard.
Understand that children find it hard to express their feelings and thoughts especially if they feel that they will not be heard. Ask your child about their day, tell them about yours. This way the child will know to share instead of stressing about it.
Ease your child’s stress with soothing warm baths, let them join an after school club that doesn’t involve more studying. Even children who want to keep studying need a break, they might not know their capacity of handling stress, but you as a parent should. Watch out for red flags and trouble sleeping, this may give you a clear indication of stress. Read more about this in next week’s series.
Talk to your pediatrician for a full checkup before school. Your child may need a little more comforting that they are healthy!