This article shares the back to school basics for bipolar families. There are many families that face one or several members who live with bipolar disorder. Our goal is to share some key lessons to help improve the school routine and help you transition back to the school schedule.
The first step is to remember that our bodies have internal time clocks. If your child is going to bed at 11pm all summer how easy will it be to wake up at 6am? The answer is that it is likely to be a battle to wake up on time and to be prepared for classes. This is why you should begin to adjust the sleep schedule a few weeks before the start of school.
One example is to slowly have the child return to a schedule sleeping closer to the times that they will need to wake up. If each night they go to bed 30 minutes earlier within one week, they will be back to the schedule needed for school. You may also begin to wake them up 30 minutes earlier to help them adjust.
The biggest issue we are often asked is what to do when the child argues with you about this. They say “Mom I don’t need to wake up early. It’s the summer and it is my time”. If you delay the inevitable you will likely face a big issue the first week of school. Your children will not be ready to wake up and many parents have to drag their kids out of bed. We have even heard stories of parents of bipolar children spraying them with water or doing other things in a desperate attempt to wake them up.
We offer a great amount of knowledge and resources for families and individuals who live with bipolar disorder. Each day our online magazine offers free articles teaching and supporting others who live with these conditions. We also offer a fantastic one on one coaching program with our founder who has authored many books about bipolar disorder. You may learn about our virtual coaching program by calling the office of Blake LeVine at (213) 304-9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org