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MEDIA RELEASE: Helping children & families navigate back-to-school

January 19, 2023

 

Media Release- Helping children & families navigate back-to-school

 

It’s that time of the year where families are racing around to tick off all the back-to-school requirements for the kids, such as buying new shoes, uniforms, books, pens and pencils.

Youthrive understands it can be a challenging time with families under financial pressure and children, parents and carers may feel anxious as kids begin their new journey at school, whether that be starting prep, year twelve or a new classroom.

However, there are some simple steps families can take to start the year off on the right foot.

“Setting a weekday routine now will help to ensure kids are getting into the right mindset in preparation to go back to school and spend hours in a classroom concentrating,” Amy Turner, Youthrive Chief Operating Officer explained.

“We’re encouraging parents and carers to make sure their child is getting enough sleep each night and that they’re eating plenty of nutritious food as they get ready for the school year,” she said.

One of the challenges can be working out what to put in your child’s lunchbox so that they have plenty of energy to get through the day.

“Knowing what to put in your child’s lunchbox can be daunting so our team of dietitians recommend getting the kids in the kitchen to help start planning their school lunch boxes with you now so that they aren’t surprised when they open them at school. We know this also means they are more likely to eat and enjoy their food at school.”

The best tip for picky eaters is to include four simple foods that your child is familiar with, especially if they have restricting food behaviours which can also be associated with autism, ADHD or anxiety.

“Try to include four foods from the five core food groups – grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy and protein to give them variety. If your child doesn’t eat sandwiches that’s okay, you could create a deconstructed lunchbox instead,” Amy explained.

Another stressful experience can be ensuring a smooth school drop off.

“There’s going to be a lot more traffic on the road as of next week. We recommend allowing more time during the first week. Rushing to get your child to school can create a sense of anxiety so plan ahead. Educate yourself on where you can drop your child off and even consider a practice run, so it’s a much more seamless process and both you and your child are familiar with where to go and what to do.”

We recommend taking these steps to provide comfort and alleviate any concerns when school does return:

  • Talk to your child about returning to school – listen to any of their concerns and acknowledge their feelings they may have about starting the school year
  • Make sure you familiarise yourself and your child with the school drop off/pick up zones so everyone knows where to go at the appropriate times
  • Plan ahead of time to avoid rushing
  • Make sure your child knows how and where they can get help at school
  • Set up a school routine so everyone knows what to expect on school/week days – a visual schedule can be very helpful

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For Interview opportunities, please contact Jess Mumme:

M: 0427 794 666

E: jess.mumme@actforkids.com.au