Joe’s Jotter: Tips to help a Junior Cycle Student with their Morning Routine
Having a simplified routine can really help a 1st, 2nd or 3rd Year make a great start to their day. Here are my three short tips for getting your teen off to a good start each morning…
Routine and Habits…
A good morning starts with a great night’s sleep, so before you even think about the AM, try to help them prioritise their sleeping habits. Some general rules of thumb here may include:
Get them into the habit of reducing screen time before bed (the blue light affects melatonin, the hormone which makes one sleepy). Avoiding large meals and caffeine before bed will allow the body to rest, without having to work off that excess food late in the evening. Try to create a calm bedroom environment, ensuring their sleeping space is clutter-free. Encourage a bedtime and lights out routine (at least from Sunday to Thursday night).
As we know, breakfast sets us up for the day. However, we also need to consider the benefits of rehydrating first thing in the morning. After sleeping for (hopefully) eight hours, drinking a glass of water when they wake up helps restore the fluids the body has lost during the night. It has been a long time since water intake, which makes it sensible to have a good top up asap.
Many scientists believe that staying hydrated has valuable benefits, such as improving the appearance and health of the skin and impacting cognition and mental performance. This is the very thing a tired teenager needs to have right for the long day ahead.
It doesn’t make sense for a teenager to skip breakfast, even though many of them do. Given they may not have eaten anything in 8-10 hours, refuelling the body is key to a good morning. They will not be able to concentrate on that first 2 or 3 classes before break otherwise. Ensure they have a set ‘get up’ time. Otherwise it will be chaos in the house, rushing around and grabbing stuff. This will allow that 10-15 minutes for breakfast.
Time to chew and enjoy breakfast sets the tone for the day. This will also facilitate time to catch up on some parent-teen chat, listening to what they have on that day.
With the above suggested supports, you are putting the building blocks in place to give your teenager the best shot at the day, and in affect, that’s all you can do as a parent.
Good luck with it.