Sup­port net­work

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Healthy Happy Living -

With the start of the school year just around the cor­ner, chil­dren, young peo­ple and par­ents and car­ers can be feel­ing both ex­cite­ment and stress.

Kids Helpline head of client ser­vices Bren­dan Bourke said go­ing back to school, start­ing school for the first time or mov­ing from pri­mary to high school could bring new chal­lenges and un­cer­tain­ties for chil­dren and their par­ents and car­ers.

“Par­ents know school tran­si­tions are not just an im­por­tant mile­stone but also a cru­cial time in a child’s de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

“Of­ten these times set the stan­dard in terms of how they de­velop cop­ing strate­gies, prob­lem solv­ing skills and ways of see­ing and un­der­stand­ing the world out­side their fam­ily.

“Kids Helpline be­lieves by pro­vid­ing ac­cep­tance, en­cour­age­ment and sup­port to chil­dren – and also re­mem­ber­ing to look af­ter your own well­be­ing – par­ents and car­ers can help en­sure the new school year gets off to a great start. Kids Helpline’s school tips for par­ents in­clude: • Be ex­cited about the new change. If you are en­thu­si­as­tic and con­fi­dent, your chil­dren will be too.

• Plan lunches the night be­fore to avoid the early morn­ing rush and any un­nec­es­sary stress.

• Start and main­tain daily rou­tines that will add struc­ture and make your child more at ease.

• Don’t for­get a healthy and nu­tri­tious break­fast. Stu­dents are more alert and per­form bet­ter at school if they eat a good break­fast.

• Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep each night dur­ing the school week.

• Take 15 min­utes out at the end of the school day to lis­ten to your child’s sto­ries. • Take time out for your­self. Kids Helpline gives chil­dren and young peo­ple choices, sup­port and some­one to lis­ten. It is Aus­tralia’s only na­tional 24-7coun­selling ser­vice specif­i­cally for chil­dren and young peo­ple aged five to 25 years. Free call 1800 55 1800 or visit www.kid­shelpline. com.au for more tips.

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