(WTNH)– Getting back into school mode can be challenging after summer break. Here’s what you can do to help your student stay on track.
The new school year is well underway. And hitting the books after time off is not an easy transition.
“This is very much a stressful time,” said Dr. Roseann Cappana-Hodge.
Psychologist Dr. Roseann Cappana-Hodge specializes in pediatric mental health.
“All kids really struggle with attention, with longer school days, less recess,” said Cappana-Hodge.
Kids like Henry Bustell are struggling with being freshmen in high school.
“Will the teachers be nice? What will the work be like?” asked Bustell.
“I just worry, will he be able to be in a good place? Be able to focus and be organized? And give his assignment the attention that he needs?” said Margaret Koslark, Henry’s mother.
Dr. Cappana-Hodge prescribes your student get a healthy start to the day.
“When you’re eating healthy, your brain is much more able to be regular and stay focused,” said Cappana-Hodge.
Supplements can also boost brain health.
“B12 is a nutrient that helps regulate the nervous system and helps with attention. We’re living very busy lives and we tend to what we call burn through B12.”
Dr. Cappana-Hodge recommends that parents ask questions.
“What helps you? What are some things that you feel like would help you? You’d be surprised- kids know what helps them.”
Discussing strategies and taking action are key.
“Typically it’s movement. It might be drinking some water. There could be a variety of things that could be helpful – an extra snack built into their day,” said Cappana-Hodge.
In a jam – dark chocolate can do the trick.
A more mindful step?
“You’re meditating a little bit every morning.”
Meditating has a calming effect for students like Henry who are working on managing stress.
“You’re just relaxing and like sitting there and that kinda helps to clear your mind, said Bustell.
So what about that first year of high school?
“We always think things are worse than they really are,” said Bustell. “It will be a great year.”
Dr. Cappana-Hodge says exercise can also stimulate the brain. Already, many elementary schools have incorporated so-called brain breaks in the classroom.