It's about a month until school's back in session. It may seem like a long time, but it's not too early to start getting the kids back on a school time schedule.
Summer days may stretch far into the evening. No problem. Kids can sleep in in the morning. But once school starts, it's to bed at a reasonable hour and up early to get ready for school. A sudden change in schedule can be a real jolt to the system. The kids will spend the first week wandering through life with eyelids at half-mast and a dopey look on their faces.
Why not make it easier on them? Start now to move bedtime a bit earlier every evening. Start getting them up a few minutes earlier every morning. You have a whole month and by the time the first day of school arrives, the kids will be right on schedule.
Another way to get kids to relax and sleep earlier is to incorporate some rules. No TV or video games before bed. Do everything in your power to keep the stress level low.
Set up a bedtime routine. Perhaps a bath, a snack, and, for the younger kids, a bedtime story. Laying out the next day's wardrobe could also be a part of the routine. All these things will start to say time to relax, lie down and go to sleep.
Not getting enough sleep is just as bad for children as it is for adults. It can weaken the immune system and let illnesses in, and they'll catch every little germ and virus that's going around.
Lack of sleep is also mentally destructive. It makes learning difficult because it's hard to concentrate. It can also interfere with sports abilities and cause mood swings and irritability.
If that's not enough, it may also cause kids, especially teens, to age faster. Your kids may not appreciate the earlier bedtime and rising time, but they'll be much healthier, happier and more prepared for the school year if you start preparing them early.
Published On: August 09, 2010