How to get kids in back-to-school routine

By Rachel McNeill, Anchor/Medical Expert, rmcneill@kprc.com
Published On: Aug 09 2012 11:56:46 AM CDT
Updated On: Aug 17 2012 08:07:04 AM CDT

Aug. 17, 2012: Experts say parents should get their children in a school-time routine well before classes begin. Rachel McNeill reports.

HOUSTON -

The lazy days of summer are almost over. For most students, those days meant no teachers, no books and no homework.

Pediatrician Dr. Debra Cutler with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic recommends starting to get kids back into a routine a couple of weeks in advance of that school bell ringing.

Cutler explained, "You're going to have to ease into it, backing off slowly on the sleep time, so they get back to the time they need to go to sleep, getting them up in the morning, not letting them sleep in."

One idea is to move their bedtime up 15 minutes every night until you hit your target time.

Remember kids need about nine to 10 hours of sleep a night.

Experts said parents need to be consistent and keep the same bedtime all week long, even on weekends, if you can.

When it comes to making the grade, Cutler said to try to reduce all those electronic gizmos and replace them with gold old-fashioned books.

She added, "So stopping the TV early, stopping Xbox. If they haven't been reading, which I encourage kids to do all summer, getting them back into doing some reading because at least that gets their brain functioning again and gets them in the habit."

Sometimes it's just as hard for moms and dads to get back into a routine as well. Experts said parents should try to set a good example by getting enough sleep and doing as much prep work as they can the night before.

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