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Getting Ready for School – Positive Behaviours

Family meal time
  • Date published:

  • Author: susieking

This section on Getting Ready for School focuses on "Encouraging Positive Behaviours"


Getting enough sleep is essential for our physical, emotional and mental well-being. Sleep deprivation can affect our attention, concentration, memory, behaviour and makes us feel anxious, irritable, overactive, aggressive and depressed. Looking after a child who has a sleep problem can be exhausting and have a significant impact on them and the whole family.

Get more healthy sleep tips for children


It’s important to establish family routines that ensure good eating and sleeping habits. Plenty of good sleep and a healthy balanced diet are very important to your child’s health and brain development.

Routines also help children to become independent. They like to know what is going to happen and when, because it makes them feel that they have some sense of control. Children also learn healthy coping skills through structure and routine.

A good bedtime routine means they’re not tired ahead of a busy and exciting day.

Family meals

Benefits include:

  • opportunities for family members to come together, strengthen connections and build better relationships
  • building a sense of belonging which leads to better self esteem
  • parents can role model and set examples of healthy eating and polite table manners
  • obesity prevention. Research shows that people tend to eat less during family meals because they eat more slowly and talk more.

Tips for eating more meals together:

  • start with small steps – increase the number of family meals by one each week
  • plan a menu for the week as a family and make a grocery list
  • get the children involved – let them help prepare the food or set the table
  • work as a family to clean up afterwards
  • turn off the TV and set rules for no screens or devices at the table or meal times.

Feeling confident

Most schools will arrange a play session that your child can attend before starting school. You can also attend any Christmas or summer fayres before they start to help familiarise your child with the school facilities and associate it as a fun place to be.

To help your child settle into to school ideally they will be able to:

  • say goodbye to their parent/carer with confidence
  • take turns and share when playing with others
  • be happy to help and tidy their belongings

Parenting courses

Parenting courses in Buckinghamshire cover a variety of topics from useful tips and coping strategies to dealing with challenging behaviours and building your confidence. Courses run for parents of children of all ages. Some specialise in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

You can also get advice and support from Buckinghamshire Family Information Service.

Find out more about family learning courses for parents and carers