CLE Marks a Summer Transition for Families

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The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition is popular year after year in Thunder Bay
The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition is popular year after year in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY – The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition marks a real shift for many across Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. The CLE marks the time that parents, students and teachers begin the transition of moving back to school. Once the final spin of the Zipper and the last corndog is chowed down, the unofficial start of the return to school starts.

For parents it is the time to start transitioning their children, especially their teenagers back to a more structured time. Getting teenagers to shift from their often summer nocturnal habits to become people of the day is not an easy process.

A summer of late nights, Pokemon, Youtube, Netflix, Shomi, Xbox, Playstation, and Facebook, might be fun, but they are not likely the best process for school success. For grandparents, it is likely hard for them to comprehend how today’s teenagers are so content to sit quietly all day.

In the “Old Days” before the iPad, smartphone, and computer, kids were often punished by having them sit quietly and think about what they had done wrong. Taking away activity was seen as a punishment. Today, telling a teen to get outside and do something is seen as the punishment. Times change and sometimes it can easily be debated if it is for the better, or the worse.

Heading to school, and planning for success, the task for parents is getting the family back on to a routine. Moving students into a routine for school is likely going to generate protests from the teens who have often cycled their clocks to a pattern more of an owl than the usual school schedule.

Teens often need more sleep than adults, and often want to stay up later and sleep in during the day. While it could be just a summer issue, it could also point to the potential of sleep problems.

Signs of sleep problems *

A change in your child’s sleeping behaviour – such as going to bed later than you’d like – isn’t necessarily a sleep problem. But your child could have sleep problems or be suffering from a lack of sleep if she:

  • lacks energy or constantly feels tired
  • takes a long time to get to sleep
  • repeatedly wakes throughout the night and doesn’t go back to sleep
  • struggles to wake or refuses to get out of bed in the morning
  • naps for long periods during the day or falls asleep at school
  • struggles to concentrate or remember information
  • has very irregular sleep patterns from day to day
  • sleepwalks or gets up and eats during the night while asleep has frequent nightmares or sleep terrors.

Making the shift from summer time over to fall is always that combination of excitement and new beginnings. Getting your teenager enthused about school is certainly one of the biggest challenges that youth will face.

However, moving forward in life, the transition is one where learning new things, meeting new people and evolving into the person that teenager will become can be a positive experience for all involved.

For parents, and grandparents, however often the issue is simply a challenge that requires remaining steadfast in setting the course. For the teenagers, it often means accepting that maybe, just maybe parents and adults who have already travelled the path you are just starting might have some ideas and some advice worth hearing.


*Source – Australian Government Parenting

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