Posted Brittney Storm Rankin on 9/4/2015 |Featured Columns & Series
Help your Girls on the Run girl have her best school year yet. These tips will help her start and finish the year on the right foot.
Establish a bedtime routine. A well-rested kid is a happy kid! Help your young person get back on a regular bedtime and wakeup schedule before school starts, then stick with it throughout the school year.
Enjoy breakfast each morning. A rumbling tummy is sure to distract your child during class. Get the day off to an energetic start with a smoothie, cereal and fruit, or peanut butter and a whole wheat wrap. Even if she isn't hungry, pack something light for her to eat on the way to school to keep her mood and blood sugar steady.
Encourage her to stay active. Whether it's participating in Girls on the Run, playing outside with her siblings or taking a family walk after dinner, encourage her to get moving. Whenever possible, exercise together to model healthy habits.
Make her part of the conversation. Hold a family meeting once a month during a relaxed time and encourage your child to participate. Ask her to share what she's nervous about, which class she's enjoying, or if she has any ideas for a better morning routine. Letting her voice her opinion and have a say in her schedule will boost her confidence.
Create a gratitude journal. Every night before bedtime, sit down together and ask her to name something good that happened that day or something she's thankful for, whether it's a new friend, a teacher or something she learned at GOTR practice. At the end of each week, read through the list together so your child can be reminded of these happy memories.
Help her help others. Volunteering in the community is a wonderful way for your daughter to learn social skills, empathy and gratitude. By volunteering together, you can model how giving back is an important part of a happy life.
Capture memories with artwork. Rather than save every art project and create extra clutter in your home, snap a photo of your and your child's favorite pieces. At the end of the semester, give her a photo book with images of her favorite artwork to celebrate her creativity.
Don't crowd her schedule. You want your girl to be happy, smart and well-rounded, but overscheduling her isn't the answer. Kids need downtime, too. Let her choose her favorite activity, such art class, a sport or music lessons. Encourage her to stick with it, but if she truly doesn't enjoy something after a few months, let her move on.
Help her set goals. Each month, talk about goals she wants to accomplish, whether it's making a new friend, running more often or confidently reading aloud in class. Setting and reaching goals is a confidence booster. Feel free to share your own goals and lead by example. When she reaches a goal, celebrate together!
By helping your daughter have an intentional school year, you'll see her grow more confident and joyful each day. What are some ways you encourage your child to have a more productive, fun year? Let us know in the comments below.