Tag Archive for back-to-school

Why It’s So Important to Balance Your Child’s Brain This Summer

Balance Your Child's Brain This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to balance your child’s brain. Research shows that so many children struggle when they head back to class in the fall due to poor diets, lack of brain boosting activities and more time indoors. Avoid the summer’s ‘brain drain’ and help your child develop optimal brain chemistry before the first day of school.

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Going Back to School with Food Sensitivities: Is Your Child Prepared?

Food sensitives can make going back to school challenging for parents, teachers and kiddos. Many parents take precautions if their child has been told by a pediatrician or health practitioner to stay away from particular foods. However, if a child doesn’t have anaphylaxis or break out in hives, it can be hard for many parents and school administrators to consider food damaging to your child’s health. You  need precautions in place to make sure your child is safe and healthy during the school year.

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Tips for Back to School Success: Start This Year Off Right

It’s that time of year again, back to school and back to schedules, homework and often stress. Before the first bell rings, there are some very important things to be in place to insure a successful transition back to class. Preparing for these things in advance can contribute to a positive and productive school experience for most children. » Read more..

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How to Make a Morning Routine Without Losing Your Mind

Mornings can be madness, but if you make a morning routine now, before the first day of school, they can be a whole lot easier. Making sure the kids are out the door with breakfast in their bellies, homework in their backpacks and their teeth brushed should be an Olympic event. It takes planning and practice to make morning routines run smoothly.  » Read more..

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Back-to-School Savings on All Children’s Programs

Children’s Program Back-to-School Savings Starts Now

 

From now to August 31st:

New Children’s Program Package – $50.00 off!
Children’s Program Retest Package – $25.00 off!

Neurogistics Children's Programs are now on sale for back-to-school

Parents! The first day of school is just around the corner. The transition back to the classroom, tests, and homework can be too much for many children. We want all of our kids to feel focused, confident, and excited when headed back to class. This is the perfect time to save with our Back-to-School Special! The more balanced your child’s brain is the better their school year will be.  So let’s set them up for academic, emotional, and behavioral success by testing now! You can learn more about how The Neurogistics Children’s Program can help your child by clicking here.

How to Order

If you are new to our Children’s Program, please click here to route to our home page, and click on the “Get Started” button.  To ensure enrollment in our Children’s Program, enter the practitioner ID – ‘BALANCE’ when prompted.  For retest orders, simply order a retest through your child’s online account.  If you already have a pending retest, please contact our office to order over the phone.  Our toll free number is 888-257-9068 for questions please email childquestion@neurogistics.com.
This special cannot be applied to pending or recently processed orders.
Take advantage the Neurogistics Children's program back-to-school special with a sale on all test kits

Back-to-School Tips

 

The transition back-to-school can be challenging for children and their parents.  The more support they have for their brains and their environments the more successful their school year will be.  Try these tips from our Child Therapist – Emily Roberts, MA LPC,  to help your family feel confident about the upcoming school year.

1. Organize Effectively

Help your child prepare for the upcoming school year today. Use a visual cue such as a calender to show them when they will be going back, what activities they have (note the days and time) and ask them what they want to put on the calender, get them invested in the process. As school assignments pour in, pick a time each day to sit with your child and put the due dates on here too. It helps feel secure and safe, and sets them up for learning how to organize their life.

2. Snack Smart

Have healthy snacks on hand that can enhance focus and prevent meltdowns is easier than you think. Make sure that the snack contains a protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat. This combination is imperative for cognitive functioning and blood sugar stability, which means better moods! Many prepackaged and portable foods contain additives, dyes and more sugar than a can of soda. Try these smart snacks to boost brain power.

3. Sleep Tight

For a seamless transition back to school students of all ages need a consistent sleep schedule (adults do too). Studies show that back to school success correlates with a proper sleep cycle. Enough sleep means higher test scores, better behavior and more focus. How do you get your little learner back to bright and early mornings? This Back-to-Bedtime Post has you covered.

We wish all of you the best back-to-school year yet!

In Good Health,

Neurogistics Corporation

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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5 Simple Tips for a Successful School Year

The beginning of the year is filled with excitement and the expectation that things will “be different” from the last. New notebooks, teachers, and schedules make the beginning of the year seem like a bright beginning, and it can be.  However, without reinforcement of new behaviors, schedules, and some simple suggestions, the backslide to old and often ineffective tendencies may creep up.  Help your kiddo keep his or her school goals a reality with these tips and resources for a successful school year.

1. Make Downtime a Priority

After a full day of school, kids’ brains need a break. They are overstimulated, constantly “on” and frequently distracted. Jumping into homework or a stimulating activity conditions their brain to stay wired. We need to build in time to help them transition and settle down. Many families use the time before bed to chill out, but often this can backfire.  If we leave too many emotions and feelings to the end of the day, it can be too much for many kids to handle, leading to worries and anxious thoughts.

Downtime implemented throughout the day can help increase communication and awareness of feelings. Asking questions as soon as they step off the bus or open the door often leads to frustration and aggression, children feel pressured and pretty frazzled. A rule of thumb is to let them have a snack, chill out and wait 20-30 minutes.

This is “re-set time” and can include:
• Drawing or art
• Reading a book of their choice
• Imaginary play
• Shower or bath
• A TV show or game that is not stimulating (avoid fast screen cuts or violence, consider something that is interactive)
• Create a calming caddy or tool kit for distress tolerance

2. Communicate Goals & Reinforce Positive Behaviors

Successful School Year: Behavior Sticker Chart

The way you talk about academic success and school year goals is more important than you think. Validation and child-friendly language can increase effectiveness and confidence in your student. Refer to this post to learn how to talk so that they will listen and participate in the conversation. Reinforce positive behaviors and focus on your child’s intention instead of the outcome.  If your kiddo tried clean up their room and got part of it completed, give them credit, and ask how you can help them problem solve to finish up. “What can I help you with?” instead of “You still have so much to do.”

 

3. Organize Effectively

Help your child prepare for tomorrow today, not tonight. Before dinner or between homework and hitting the sheets, go over their upcoming and weekly assignments, activities, and events. Having a visual cue for younger and older kids, such as a calender on the wall will help them to gain confidence on what is to come, as well as help to create organizational skills for life. Dr. Lynne Kenney, The Family Coach and one of our favorite parenting experts, has created  clear and creative free downloads to help you and your children with organization.

4. Snack Smart

Snacks can help to save your kids mood and attention span during the long days back in school. Having healthy snacks available is imperative for managing mood and improving focus. Include a protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat into each bite. It’s much easier than the drive-through, and healthier too. Click here to read more about snacks that boost brain power.

5. Sleep Tight

For a seamless transition back to school students of all ages need a consistent sleep schedule (adults do too). Studies show that back to school success correlates with a proper sleep cycle. Enough sleep means higher test scores, better behavior and more focus. How do you get your little learner back to bright and early mornings? This Back-to-Bedtime Post has you covered.

We wish all of you the best back-to-school year yet!  Please share your tips and suggestions below.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Back to Bedtime: Tips for Adjusting Your Childs Sleep Cycle for Back to School

back to school sleepy boyBy Emily Roberts MA, LPC

We know summertime schedules make it hard to adjust to back to school demands. The leisurely schedule and later evenings mean more of a push back from kiddos when classes resume. As much as your child may fight or fuss about pillow-time, it is a tool for academic and behavioral success. Kids who don’t get enough sleep, regularly, have been shown to have lower testing scores, more behavioral outburst, and more ADHD-like behaviors. Snoozing on the weekends and struggling to get enough sleep during the week is a typical cycle for some, but can be damaging to long term health. Children and adults need a bedtime routine, and consistent hours for their brain to recharge and rest. This cannot be done two nights a week, we need to help them adjust to do this most days.

Start Now

Even if your child has started school or is doing so in the next week or so, start with a plan of action that you can implement as early as this evening. Changing their entire routine all at once can be too much for some kids to handle, so adding in each piece over the course of a week may help.Experts estimate that preschoolers (3 to 5 years-old) need 11-13 hours of sleep, while school-aged children up to age 12 need approximately 10-11 hours of sleep. Teens need at least 9 hours. back to school kids sleep

Dr. Juan Martinez MD, director of Pediatric Sleep lab at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital suggests:

• The best strategy is to allow the later bedtime initially, but enforce the gradually earlier morning arousal time to a goal of the normal awakening time for school. The late bedtime will eventually adjust to a normal bedtime. All parents and caregivers must be on board and consistent.— We love this, as our bodies will naturally respond to this adjustment after a few days. Starting to enforce an earlier bedtime after a week or so, and rewarding them for getting ready on-time will help.

• Absolutely avoid any caffeinated products after dinner. That includes coffee, cola drinks and chocolate.— We would even go further to say after lunch, as caffeine can stay in kids systems for hours. Sugar before bed can also heighten arousal, so that ice cream after dinner may need to be a mid afternoon treat.

• Have children turn off all electronics, including phones, computers, video games and television early in the night. Have them instead read, listen to soothing music or do other quiet activities.— We agree, and studies have shown that up to two hours before bed our brain’s will be effected by screen time. If your child “needs” their Kindle or begs for their iPhone, come up with rules for the family. It may be painful at first to convince your tween to turn in their phone, but if their goals are to make good grades and get the privilege of having a phone, then they needs to follow the rules. Many kids I work with sleep with their phones and are woken up throughout the night to friends’ texts or to search the web. DON’T ALLOW THIS.

• Have children take a warm bath an hour or two before bedtime to help their body temperature naturally cool down before sleep.— We would also add in doing mindfulness or self-soothing activities. Coloring, journaling, “light” reading (avoid scary or suspenseful literature), back rubs, ect.

• At bedtime there should be no background noises, television or music.— We have some kids who are able to relax by listening to classical music, guided meditations, or sound machines, as it distracts from their anxious thoughts. Try to find something that reduces stimulation.

More tips:

When talking to kids about this adjustment make sure not to say “because I said so” or “that’s our rule.” Rather, explain to them that sleep is important if they want to feel good and focused. Sleep is like food, we need it or our bodies can’t function.back to school sleep tight

Supplements. Make sure your child is taking their supplements as prescribed or suggested. Particular vitamins and minerals can be stimulating. Making sure that they are taking their recommended doses at the right time is imperative.

Make bedtime cozy. When we look at our beds we want to feel comfortable and look forward to shutting our eyes. Kids are the same. Make sure that they help you pick out textures of linens that they like, this is not your bed, it’s theirs. Give them lots of pillows or blankets if they like, as many kids (and adults) feel calmer and safer with soft textures surrounding them. For little ones, have them pick out a stuffed animal or blanket that “lives in the bed.” So they will have something to look forward to when bedtime comes.

Also, this is a great time to ask them about their goals for the school year, what do you want to accomplish or improve on this year? Let them tell you (it can be hard to keep your thoughts to yourself but try) what they want to achieve. “More goals in soccer” or “get an A in Algebra. Then ask them what they need to do to get there. Break down the goals with them and add in steps including healthy living (sleep, diet, supplements, ect).

What if they resist? As a parent you are in charge, and your children will thank you in the long run. Expect a few days or even weeks of push back, maybe even tears, but stay consistent and strong. Validate that sometimes it stinks to head to bed this early, and we all are trying our best to be healthy.

Even if they aren’t tired, which is a common complaint, get them in their rooms, and make their room a bedtime zone. If there is a tv, a computer, bright lights or warm temperatures, fix these things soon. Make the bedroom for sleeping and relaxing not stressful activities. The more we praise them getting into their rooms and in bed the more likely we will help condition their brains to “like”, at least a little bit, the idea of heading to bed. Giving in to later bedtimes may be a “reward” but try rewarding with activities that they would want to do during the day. Sleep is sleep, just like breakfast is a meal. You wouldn’t let them go to school hungry, so why would you let them go with a foggy brain?

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Backpack Snacks That Boost Brain Power

kid-backpack

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Snacks can help to save your kids mood and attention span during the long days back in school. Having healthy snacks on hand that can enhance focus and prevent meltdowns is easier than you think. Making sure that the snack contains a protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat ratio is imperative for cognitive functioning and keeping moods stable. Many prepackaged and portable foods contain additives, dyes and more sugar than a can of soda. Try these for simple and effective alternatives for boosting brain power.

No Cold Pack Needed!

justins-natural-almond-butter-153218Rice Chips and Nut Butter. Gluten and dairy-free rice crackers, chips, or NutThins and a side of almond or sunflower butter keeps protein and fat contents proportional, while also adding some complex carbohydrates. Justin’s almond butter is a product that has individual packs, or you can simply separate the chips and the nut butter into different containers to keep the chips from getting soggy. Many schools are anti-peanuts these days, so alternative nutbutters are an added bonus.

Trail Mix. Make your own (link) by adding in nuts and cereals that your child likes, as well as some dried fruit or dye-free chocolate bites and you now have a portable healthy snack that is great for any time of the day. Have your kids make their own too, with this reindeer mix. My favorite gluten free and protein filled option; lentil chips, pistachios (without the shell), and dried cranberries (sugar-free). Good fats, protein, and complex carbs.

Edamame. This soy bean can be steamed and stored in any container, add some sea salt and it’s a protein powerhouse. There are roasted versions too, that are easy to snack on and nonperishable.

Jerky. Salmon jerky, soy jerky, and even turkey jerky can all be found with organic labels these days, and they are a great snack to tide hunger over in any kid. The protein content is high, and so is the sodium so watch out, but jerky has a great chewiness factor to keep kids occupied.

Keep it Cool

Cheese to-go. Babybel cheese and crackers or string cheese, grapes and corn chips or crackers.

Roll Ups.  Whole wheat or spelt tortillas (gluten free tortillas if needed), Swiss cheese, and turkey slices, and add some avocado if your kiddo is an adventurous eater or mustard. Vegetarian kiddo’s, can try hummus and extra vegetables.  Or the old-school PB&J can  be jazzed up with almond butter, banana, coconut flakes and honey in a tortilla. Cut into pinwheels and they become more fun to eat.bluediamond-nutthins

Dippers. Hummus and rice chips or baby carrots. You can actually freeze the hummus and 4 hours later its in its dipable form. Use it as an icepack and snack all at once.

Weelicous has amazing recipes for fruit and seedbars that you can make into gluten-free combos and creative fun snacks.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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Start The New Year Off Right: Academically

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

We generally take the last few weeks of August to help our kids get prepared to go back to school, why not now?  January is the start of a new year, and it can be for your child too. Before the fall semester we buy them supplies, help them organize, and change the topic of conversation from summer fun, to school expectations.  Now is the time to re-evaluate our expectations, implement new routines, and help our students have a successful second semester.  Here are some helpful suggestions:

1.  Discuss your expectations.   The saying “just do your best” is no longer an acceptable way to tell your child what you require from them academically.   This statement sends mixed messages, making your child unsure what it will take to make you proud.  The reality is that children do not want to disappoint their parents, even if they sometimes act as if they do.  Help your child create his own reasonable expectations for himself, ask him what his goals are for each class.  After you have listened and thought about what his expectations are, come up with your expectations and see if they coincide.   When it is the child’s plan rather than your demands, they become much more invested, and real changes will occur.

2.)  Be realistic in your expectations.  If your daughter is a genus in math, but has consistently struggled in Language Arts, it may not be realistic to expect all A’s.  As parents, we want our children to be the best and brightest, but it is critical to evaluate how realistic our expectations are.  Recent studies show that setting the bar too high often leads to low self-esteem, depression, and other mental disorders.  When expectations are set at a level where the child feels they can be successful, they are motivated to work towards it, achieve it, and often surpass that goal.  When they feel that it is impossible to meet your expectations, the fear of failure often inhibits their effort. We often hear, “Well I knew I wasn’t going to make an A so I just gave up.”  This is due to the despair created by setting the bar too high.

3.)  Use genuine compliments. When reflecting on the past  semester and current academics, make sure to focus on the positive, without too much emphasis on the negative. It isn’t enough to tell your child “good job”.  While this is meant as a compliment, students often tell us that it is “generic” or what parents “are supposed to say.”  Instead, focus on praising their effort, creativity, or something that was previously challenging.  Praise the process (paying attention more in school) rather than the product (the B+). Telling them “I’m so impressed with the hard work you put into that project, you are so creative.”  is far more meaningful because you are explaining why you are proud of them.  This type of praise sticks with your child, unlike generic complements.

4.)  Use this semester to get to know your child better. Initiate conversations with your child to learn more about them.  Ask about their goals for the year, for the next five years, or even their lifetime aspirations. Ask them about new interests, current trends, or something you saw on T.V., things they may know more about than you (this lets them feel in control and will often get them to open up). Keep these conversations to an age appropriate level. A good place to try this out is in the car. Use a song on the radio or a recent news story to ask their opinion, and then LISTEN; try hard not to judge them on what their saying.  More often than not, you will find this technique will lead to deeper, more meaningful conversations.

5.) Avoid “Yes, but….” phrases.Comments like: “Good job in English, but I bet if you would have studied more you would have made an A.” or “If you just had the study habits of your brother, then you would get better grades,” send the wrong message. While your intention may be to motivate your child to work harder and aspire toward greater achievement, comparisons rarely have this desired effect.  Children will often withdraw and feel as though they are not good enough to make you proud until they can be like others, which may never happen. When their self-esteem is compromised by feeling inadequate, their grades will often suffer and their effort and focus generally decreases.  Make the basis of the conversation about what they need to improve on, rather that alluding to the success of someone else or what your child hasn’t achieved.  When having this conversation, make sure to point out what makes them unique in your eyes. 

Implementing all of these strategies at once can be a bit overwhelming.  Focus on the dialogue that you feel will be most beneficial for your child first, then once you are comfortable, continue to integrate new strategies.  When children of any age feel that they have a voice and are being listened to, they generally are happier and more communicative with their parents.  This leads to a lifetime of better conversations and a better relationship with your child.

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The Power of Protein

By: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Its 3 PM. Your starving, so you reach for that 100 calorie pack of starch to curb your hunger…and your not satisfied?  Well who would be, there is no protein in it, its all carbs.  We all know protein is important for keeping us full and keeping us strong.  However, studies find that most children are not getting enough and many adults fall short on their daily intake as well.  The reason this is so important, is without the rotation of different proteins and the quantity, out bodies will not make the natural amino acids that keep  us focused, stable, and happy. 

The Facts: Amino acids are the building blocks for Neurotransmitters; amino acids are created by our genetic make-up, but also our diet.  Protein and supplementation are the main sources of changing and increasing amino acid availability in ones body. 

Are You Getting Enough?: To calculate how much protein you need on a daily basis take your body weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2, this will give you amount in grams that your body needs at a minimum (unless otherwise noted by your doctor or other health professional).  For example:  140 pound woman needs approximately 64 grams per day.

Where to Get it:Nuts, lean meats, dairy products, soy, legumes, whey protein powder, and seafood are all great sources.  For kids a serving size is approximately 2 oz, depending on their weight. For adults a serving size is 4 to 6 oz.

Protein for Kids:  even for the pickiest eaters daily protein intake can be achieved.  This especially important when school starts and focus is needed.  In the morning try almond or peanut butter and toast, instead of a pop-tart or sugar filled pastry.  For a mid morning snack, freeze a yogurt and put it in their lunch box, it will be cold by the time snack-time rolls around.  For lunch, turkey and cheese roll-ups, rather than pizza. For dinner, adding in tofu or chicken to your child’s meal will increase their amino acid availability and keep them satisfied longer.

***If your child refuses, whey protein powder is easily hidden in smoothies, milk, and oatmeal.

Why Rotate?: If we eat the same thing everyday our body is going to get used to the amino acids in that food, making it difficult to create new strains of amino acids, thus less neurotransmitter availability.  Therefore, making changes in protein increases your availability to create new strains.  Simple fixes are, chose fish instead of chicken on your salad.  Add protein powder to your morning oatmeal instead of just milk, or try adding in a mid morning snack of yogurt and nuts.

So next time your starving, think about this, will that snack fill me up?  Adding in protein keeps you fuller, longer, carbs alone will leave you feeling hungry and tired.  Instead of that bag of chips try a bag of trail mix, or cheese and crackers .  You will find yourself more focused, in a better mood, and best of all SATISFIED.

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