As families settle into the routine of a new school year, experts say it’s a great time to take stock in your family's routines and habits.
Dr. Donna Milavetz, Executive Medical Director for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah says it’s time to, “Get back to the basics."
She says reading with your child regularly is one of the best habits to add to your routine. Regularly reading helps a child develop curiosity and creativity and can give kids a place to wind down amid all the busyness of new schedules. Reading with your child also provides much needed time to connect.
“It's crucial to give them that one on one attention that they need as a part of their development,” says Milavetz.
She emphasized that learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Parents and caregivers play a key role in the process.
“Just asking about their day, engaging with them, asking what they learned in school, what’s your homework, how can I help?”
She also says it’s a great time to talk to them about their emotional and mental health. Milavetz is a mom of three herself and says now is a good time to zoom out and look at some healthy habits we can help create.
“Making sure that your child gets enough sleep. Setting regular bedtimes. Turn off that screen time at least 30-60 minutes before.”
And reminding kids to cover coughs and frequently wash hands. Also, provide healthy snack and meals.
Milavetz says she likes parents to think of it like “eating from the rainbow,” and include different types of fruits and veggies to keep kids interested.
She says making sure kids stay active during the school year is also crucial to their overall health and well-being.
“Getting them outside to burn off some of that energy of being cooped up in the classroom and then making it fun, having games.”
She says now is also a great time to schedule a visit with your provider, update immunizations, and make sure your students are meeting those important development milestones.