Busy school nights can make your house feel like a zoo. Between commutes, sports practices and dinner plans, it feels like everyone is always either on the go or hustling to get there.
Your child may not be aware of it, but you can see it: They’re feeling the pressures of school. Whatever their age, they are juggling multiple things to get through their school day, from keeping up with classroom lessons to navigating playground politics.
The school year can certainly inspire its share of frantic feelings. At home, you can try some of these simple, nature-inspired approaches to make your child feel more grounded, centred and ready to learn.
Spend more time in nature: The more time spent outdoors, the better, whether it’s in the backyard or at the neighbourhood park. Time spent outdoors reduces stress in children, plus it promotes more exercise and movement. Where you can, try to work in extra minutes of fresh air time. In the morning, leave a few minutes early for the bus stop or, even better, try walking or biking to school on nice days. After school, send them outdoors to play in the yard and take evening walks as a family.
Practice mindful parenting: After a busy day, you have a long to-do list, from getting dinner on the table, to juggling sports practices with homework time. In the midst of these crazy evenings, remember when it comes right down to it, kids crave attention from and interaction with their parents. Make sure you hit pause and take time for face-to-face conversations. When they have something on their minds and you show that you care and want to listen, they’ll feel supported. Plus, one-on-one time is just a great way to improve the parent-child bond.
Protect their sleep schedule: No doubt about it, kids need to get their rest.
Sleep is essential for their mental and physical development, but it also lets them start the day with fresh minds that are ready to focus on school. For kids who are between the ages of 6 and 13, the National Sleep Foundation in the US says a good range is 9 to 11 hours a night. To make sure they’re getting enough, have them go to bed at the same time each night, and make it a rule to power down all devices and screens an hour before.
Inspire a balanced mindset with essential oils: To help your kids incorporate balance and calm in the middle of the school day, pack some personal care items that incorporate essential oils. Or, create a boosting study space by diffusing rosemary in the room. The herbal, camphorous aroma of rosemary is traditionally associated with memory, recollections and nostalgia, so is a great adjunct to reading and studying. A quick tip is to dispense 10 to 18 drops of rosemary essential oil on a cotton ball set in a dish.