New parenting site from the NSPCC, Your Family www.yourfamily.org.uk, calls upon its vast range of expert advisors to highlight the importance of routine in a child’s life, especially at the beginning of a new school term.
Your Family magazine editor-in-chief and NSPCC parenting advisor, Eileen Hayes, explains that starting a new terml can be a very stressful time for children as well as their parents, particularly after the excitement of Christmas and New Year celebrations. Through the online parental advice magazine, Your Family, Eileen encourages parents to establish good lifestyle habits to help build structure and deal with stressful times for children, such as going back to school and their exams. By implementing some structure into the day, such as regular meal times, TV programme times and bath times, the transition into a new school term will be easier for children. She also notes that it’s really important to include going back to school plans as part of the Christmas break preparations. That way start of term won’t just creep up on you, and everyone can make sure they get some rest as well as enjoying the fun things.
Eileen Hayes adds, “It is important to factor downtime into a routine, for example, if you plan putting in place a regular homework slot, do not ask to see reading books or work straight after school. Let kids take a break, watch a TV programme or have a snack. Parents must understand that school puts a huge emotional demand on a child, and more often than not it is better to give them space first rather than fuss around them.”
Children usually take a couple of weeks to get into a routine of a new term; to help with this period, Eileen recommends the following tips:
• Put up with complaints and occasional difficult behaviour, remember your children will only complain to those they feel most comfortable with
• The first few days of a new school term are the most tiring for children. Try to keep stressful times to a minimum and be conscious of making your child do too much after school
• Be sympathetic to their needs, give your children extra attention, support and love
• Use treats and surprises to reward your children when they have done well, or at the end of the week
The Your Family site is aimed at parents with children from nought to nine years old and covers all aspects of family life, from advice on managing the family budget to cyberbullying, including interactive tools and quick and easy recipes. For more information and advice on getting into a routine and settling into school please visitwww.yourfamily.org.uk.
Notes to editors:
Your Family was launched in March 2005 it is published by Redwood and is available free of charge in over 200 ELC stores. It has become well established as the UK’s largest parenting title and in 2006 won an APA award for Best Consumer Title.