With this week being the beginning of school for most kids, I thought it only appropriate to give some simple ways to help your kids be successful this school year. Most of these are common sense, but more and more I find that common sense simply isn’t that common.
1. Start the day off right. Getting you and your kids a quality breakfast is imperative to success. Too many times, parents take the easy way out and just feed their kids things like cereal or doughnuts as they are quick and easy to make. Unfortunately, they provide little nutrition to help kids focus. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. The sugars included cause children’s blood sugar to spike and they’ll crash by mid-morning. This means anything from then on will almost certainly go in one ear and out the other. Give your kids some quality protein with things like eggs or turkey bacon or free-range sausage. The protein will help keep them full and stimulate blood sugar just enough to keep them going throughout the morning.
2. Get them to move throughout the day. We were never designed to sit (especially in uncomfortable desks) all day. Sitting for prolonged periods actually inhibits learning. As chiropractic neurologists, we understand that movement is what runs the brain. In fact, there are numerous studies that show that people who exercise more have higher IQ’s, less learning problems, not to mention healthier weights! Simple things like squats or overhead reaches done even once an hour can give the brain enough stimulation to keep focused throughout the day. Also, include physical exercise as a family. It creates bonding time with you and your kids and will give them the energy needed to knock out their homework.
3. Eat dinner as a family. As kids grow up, they will either learn from you or their friends. If you spend time with them and show a genuine interest in your kids, they are much more likely to actually follow your rules as well as take to heart the things you say. Again, numerous studies show that children whose parents are involved in their lives have greater success in school than those that don’t.
4. Give your kids fish oil. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are the building blocks for every cell in your body. More importantly, they are the next best form of nutrition beyond movement. The DHA found in fish oil is highly important in brain and nerve function. On top of that, you decrease your child’s risk of chronic disease significantly as EPA and DHA are tremendous promotors of the anti-inflammatory pathways that often trigger diseases of lifestyle.
5. Put your kids to bed at a decent hour. Children’s bodies are constantly growing. Growth and repair are very metabolically expensive processes. Sleep is very important as it allows the body to heal from the processes of the previous day. As well, this is when the brain takes over and helps to move the information learned today into long term memory stores which also increases learning. Finish the day with gratitude for the events of today and for the things to come tomorrow. It will prime their brains for another day of learning and keep them happy and healthy!
6. Get adjusted! Nothing can help your kids learn more than a fully functioning nervous system! Adjustments increase function of your brain and your brain controls every cell, tissue and organ of the body. Regularly adjusted children perform better in school as they have improved focus and tend to get sick less. Make adjustments a regular part of your child’s school routine.
I hope these simple things will help both you and your children this school year. I wish you all great success!
Yours in Health,
Dr. James Ashley, DC