Miami-Dade Public Schools begin their 2012-2013 class schedule this week. Included here are some tips to promote your child's physical, mental, and emotional well-being and prepare for a healthy, successful school year.
Have your children rested and refreshed: children need adequate sleep to maintain optimal cognitive performance and emotional stability. Make sure your children aren't getting to sleep too
late on school nights and are getting enough hours of sleep. Young children need extra sleep and may benefit from naps to be refreshed.
Provide a healthy breakfast and good nutrition: a balanced breakfast helps children stay alert and focused in school. Avoid refined sugars or processed foods, opting instead for whole grains, fresh fruit, and organic protein sources. Be sure to avoid giving children any foods that they have allergies or sensitivities to. Wheat, dairy, peanuts, and soy are some of the more common allergy triggers, but a child could have a sensitivity to anything. Encourage your child to have a healthy lunch as well, whether it is brought from home or obtained from the school cafeteria. Many schools are providing more options than they did in the past on their lunch menu.
Educate yourself on vaccines and options available to meet requirements: schools in Florida require up-to-date vaccinations or waivers exempting your child from the requirement. Medical and religious exemptions are accepted. You are encouraged to research the pro and con views on vaccines and come to your own conclusions. There is an increasingly substantial amount of evidence that vaccines aren't as valuable in preventing illnesses as claimed and that they are actually contributing to many illnesses and health challenges. Since there has been such a massive institutional investment and commitment to the vaccination paradigm it would be hard for people in those institutions to admit that vaccines could be fostering more harm than benefit. That's why you need to explore the evidence and arguments yourself rather than accepting what others may tell you. Looking at the bigger picture, it can be recognized that immune health really depends on healthy diet and lifestyle, not on artificial attempts to stimulate a limited, narrowly focused immune response.
Promote exercise and physical activity: children need physical activity. Encourage your children to participate in outdoor play and sports and not overdue watching TV and playing video games or chatting on the Internet and mobile phones. Wireless devices are being recognized as a health hazard, due to the cellular damage fostered by many types of EM fields and man-made frequencies. Children need fresh air and sunshine more than they need an XBox and Facebook account.
Foster healthy skills to cope with stress: help children learn to express themselves and seek help and support from friends and from parents and teachers when they are dealing with stress. Modeling positive ways of coping with stress will help children develop healthy coping skills. Exercise, writing, art and music, meditative practices, reading, and seeking positive social support can help children handle pressure and process feelings. Without healthy outlets children can become overwhelmed or be led into negative behaviors.
Give academic support: support your child's academic progress by ensuring your child gets assistance in addressing any learning or academic difficulties that arise. Maintain good communication with your children's teachers. Encourage your child to feel okay acknowledging difficulties and asking for help. It is better to address difficulties proactively than to wait until a child falls far behind. Children need to feel competent and successful and it is important to build their self-confidence and desire for achievement.