School’s in for a healthier lifestyle

School’s soon to begin, and some parents breathe a sigh of relief that structure and scheduling return for their children, especially for youths who spend the summer vacation listlessly watching television, on the computer, or loafing around the house complaining of boredom.

For many, however, the return to school heralds another season of school runs, homework pressures, lunchbox dilemmas and a busy taxi service to after-school activities and classes.

It is amazing how many stressed out parents are visible at 3pm each weekday afternoon, fleeing the pressures of work to pick up children from school.

Would it work for you to make a few changes this school season, to eliminate some of the common stresses that build up? Make a few changes that may build self-responsibility for your children and release a little pressure in the home.

Lifestyles, providing advice for balanced living, offers the following suggestions for this school’s season:

– Assist your children’s mental and physical ability to stay alert and achieve goals by ensuring proper nutrition. Ensure your children eat breakfast. If you’re too busy to make lunches, have your children make them. You will save money and help with their self-sufficiency at the same time as providing good food. (Email me for a small menu of take-to-school lunch ideas)

– Set guidelines for homework, instilling responsibility in your children to complete tasks; computers, television, phones and friends come after homework is completed. Encourage weekend homework to be completed before Sunday night, thereby releasing pressure and anxiety for last-minute efforts.

– Allow your children a time of relaxation or activity immediately after school before beginning homework. Encourage fresh-air and exercise.

– Encourage your children to team up and walk from school, if reasonable; the exercise will benefit them greatly. If pick-up is necessary, car pooling with other parents in your neighborhood will save time, energy and gasoline. It may result in just one school pick up weekly if organized well.

– Avoid the modern-day tendency to over-enroll your children in extra-curricular activity. Allow time for family-oriented activities which will benefit not only children but parents.

We always have an opportunity to make changes; discuss with your children and teens ways to make this school year fun, productive and more manageable.

Lifestyles with Donna provides healthy living guidelines for everyone. Email [email protected]