6 Tips for Navigating the School Year in the “New Normal”

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Ninja Focus, a digital mindfulness and meditation platform for kids ages 3 – 12, adds exciting new tools and resources to help kids navigate complex emotions during this school year. This year going back to school comes with extra anxiety, for both parents and kids, irrespective of how the school situation may look. Some children may experience sadness and disappointment about not seeing friends, while others may be stressed about going back to classrooms with new rules and guidelines making them more anxious and disrupt sleep routines. 

Ninja Focus has partnered with Scottsdale behavioral and developmental pediatrician, Dr. Raun Melmed, to offer new meditations, exercises, and pep talks to help children manage their emotions, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well-being. The app will also offer mindfulness tools and talks for parents including screen time control, time management, dealing with stress, to help guide their kids through these new challenges.

“We’re extremely thrilled to have Dr. Melmed join Ninja Focus’ advisory board to help us design powerful mindfulness tools for kids and parents,” said Praveen Mamnani, CEO of Ninja Focus. “Dr. Melmed has decades of experience in working with children of all ages. Under the guidance of such experts, we hope to provide parents and caregivers critical resources that will help set kids up for success in life.”

Designed by child development and mindfulness specialists, educators, and pediatricians, Ninja Focus offers guided meditations, bedtime stories, yoga activities, and music to help children be more focused, compassionate, get better sleep, learn healthy eating habits, and to drive positive behavior.

Depending on how the school situation may look like for different families, from homeschooling to online schooling or classroom learning to hybrid schooling, experts at Ninja Focus recommend a few tips for dealing with the back to school situation this school year:

  1. Establish a Bedtime Routine: This might be the most important step of all. Now is the time to reinforce bedtime routines including meditation and bedtime stories. This will help them initiate asleep more quickly and be more refreshed in the next school morning.  
  2. Create a Family Schedule: Create a daily schedule for the entire family. Include a specific time for every activity, including wake up time, morning routine, drop-off, and pick-up schedules, schoolwork, playtime, nap time if your kids are young, and bedtime. Include your own work schedule as well.
  3. Practice Hand Hygiene and Masks: Communicate with your child to continue to follow what they have learned this Summer about wearing a mask, hand washing, and sanitizing. You could consider having your child pick out a new mask that they’ll be excited to wear to school. Prepare a checklist on items to pack like a mask, hand sanitizer, water bottle, lunchbox, supplies, etc. the night before school   
  4. Add Play to the School Day: If you are homeschooling or following a hybrid schooling schedule, add exciting play elements to the school day. Use simple games to perform math tasks or go wild and set up a science experience using ingredients from the kitchen; this can help kids be creative and have some fun at the same time.
  5. Get Creative with Quiet Time: Introduce short meditations and simple breathing exercises during quiet time or early in the morning before school. Help them identify emotions and learn to be mindful to help develop a sense of calmness and peace during the day. Follow the innovative programs available on the Ninja Focus app to make it more rewarding.
  6. Take Time for Self-Care: Parenting through a pandemic does not come with a manual.  Help every member of the family take time for self-care. Schedule 30 minutes for yourself as well, – go for a walk, meditate, get in a workout, listen to a favorite podcast or a pep talk track on the Ninja Focus app! Fill your own cup first!

“This school year could the most challenging one our kids will ever face and the need to empower them with the right tools is more important than ever. As we add new tools and resources, we hope to help the parents and kids take control of their emotional state and become more confident and self-sufficient,” said Praveen Mamnani, CEO of Ninja Focus.

“It is impressive to see the success Ninja Focus has with children and their families. Their mission to inculcate children with mindfulness tools to enhance their well-being is admirable,” said Dr. Raun Melmed.

Dr. Melmed is the Medical Director of the Melmed Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, and co-founder and the medical director of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center.  He is the author of the ST4 Mindfulness Book for Kids series including Marvin’s Monster Diary – ADHD Attacks, Timmy’s Monster Diary: Screen Time Attacks!, Harriet’s Monster Diary – Awfully Anxious, Marvin’s Monster Diary 2 (+ Lyssa): ADHD Emotion Explosion (But I Triumph, Big Time), and Marvin’s Monster Diary 3: Trouble with Friends (But I Get By, Big Time!)

For more information, visit https://www.ninjafocus.com.

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