Parents are navigating uncharted territory right now. Many kids are back in school for the first time in months, while others are at home continuing their online schooling.

We are leading by example during this time. Children take their cues from adults about how to navigate the road ahead. Here are a few ways you can ease the transition this fall so your children stay happy, stress-free, focused, and excited to learn. (And you can keep your sanity!)

Keep a routine

  • Get ready for the day as you normally would, even if your child is home-schooling. (Yes, that means you have to eat your breakfast!)
  • Collaborate with your kids to create a daily or weekly schedule for some consistency. Letting them in on the decision-making empowers them at a young age.
  • Take breaks throughout the day.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. (Extra bonus? It’ll help them sleep better.)

Feed them a balanced diet

Young girl feeding her mother a grape tomato while they chop vegetables in the kitchen

  • This may seem like a no-brainer, but with all parents have going on, it can be easy to order takeout or prepare highly processed foods high in all sorts of bad stuff for you and your kids. Nutrition has the potential to positively influence your child’s academic performance and behavior, so when it comes to incorporating healthy foods into your kids’ diets, try these five simple methods.
  • Feed your children nutritious snacks throughout the day using these fun recipes, or make ’em a delicious IsaKids® Super Smoothie. Growing minds and bodies need lots of fuel!

Make learning fun

An open art journal with art supplies scattered around it

  • Set up a “classroom” workspace, and make it fun! For older kids, you can spice things up by having them move to different rooms in the house for different subjects or “class periods.”
  • Accept that your child’s learning will look very different right now and that teachers are learning too as they work to adapt their classrooms as quickly as possible.

Be empathetic

  • Communicate to your kids that it is normal to feel sad and overwhelmed during this time, especially if they’re unable to see their friends or participate in their normal social activities.
  • Watch out for signs that your child may need additional support for their mental wellness, and seek professional help if needed.

Keep a gratitude list

  • Write out or talk about three to five specific things (or fewer for younger kids) that you are grateful for.
  • Do this daily or a few times a week, and watch your perspective change!

Encourage your kids to connect virtually

Overhead shot of three young women pointing to a laptop screen

  • Connecting with others in real time, even in a virtual or phone setting, has a positive impact on mental health.
  • Encourage your children to take a break from social media platforms and replace that with time spent in small groups using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Hulu, or YouTube Watch parties.