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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Children must be prepared physically and mentally for school return, expert says

After a long summer, pupils need to get back into the right sleeping routines and parents must ensure they are also mentally prepared for transition back to class

Preparing children for going back to school after a long summer break is something each parent should plan for in advance to accomplish a stress-free start.

Rescheduling sleeping hours, talking to children about what to expect during the first days of school and involving them in the school essentials shopping trips will help ease the process, according to experts

“Parents need to start a bedtime schedule a week in advance of school so that children get at least 10 hours of sleep at night, as it helps them be more focused and less tired during the first days of school,” said Dr Yusra Abo Hamed, specialist in public health and preventive medicine.

“It would be a good idea if children were able to go with their parents to choose their school bags and lunchboxes, as this will prepare them mentally and will make them more enthusiastic about going back to school.”

Dr Abo Hamed said that children should also have the opportunity to express their feelings about the first days of school and be guided by parents.

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“Explaining to them that most children feel the same and that it’s normal to feel anxious will help children overcome their fears,” she said.

“Parents need to highlight the good aspects of starting school, like how it will be fun and they will meet new friends, along with explaining to them the school schedule and what time school begins and ends each day.

“It would be helpful if parents visit the school with the child before school officially starts to see the new classroom and meet the new teachers.”

And for their lunchboxes, Dr Abo Hamed said that it should contain food the child likes, as long as it is healthy.

“In general, the healthy packed lunch for school children should consist of starchy carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta beside fresh fruit and vegetables, which can be made as a salad,” she said. “It must also include a source of protein such as eggs, fish, meat, cheese of any kind of dairy products.”