Many families find that they need a “vacation after the vacation” when they return from Winter Break. The excitement of the holidays, travel, and disrupted sleep and eating schedules can send anyone into a funk, and children frequently are unable to communicate what they need to regulate themselves.
Here are some ways you can help your child get back into routine after break:
Bring order to your “down time”.
Even if you are not scheduled for an activity, be sure to let your child know how their time will flow and what expectations are in place. Giving your child a structure they can count on helps them feel secure, and makes it easier for them to transition between activities at home too.
Example: “Saturday morning we will eat breakfast, have free play time for several hours, eat lunch, and then go to the park for an hour. After the park we will clean up the living room and then have dinner.”
Help your child rebuild their school day endurance.
Learning is hard work, and students are frequently more tired from the school day when they have not been in their routine. Adjust your child’s sleep routines to accommodate the acclimation back into school. Also, offer high-protein snacks to keep their energy going as well.
Make time for extra one-on-one interaction.
During long breaks your child becomes used to spending more time with you. It’s normal for them to miss all the extra cuddles and attention. Making special time to connect with your child every day will meet an important need. Even five minutes a day of child-led interaction will keep your child feeling attached as you move back into regular school and work routines.
Good Luck, and Welcome Back! ~Kathryn