Tips for Getting your Family back in a routine after Winter Break
I remember being a kid and looking forward to getting a long break from school for the holidays! As a parent it is amazing how different we look at time off from school, not so excited to say the least. It such a hectic time but we look forward to the family get togethers and all the parties we have to end the year. In most countries, winter break usually last 2 to 3 weeks. This year we had an especially long break and I can tell the kids are dreading the prospect of going back to school. I can’t say that I blame them because I certainly am not looking forward to waking up early in this cold weather! I have enjoyed our lazy morning in bed and not being in any particular hurry to get out of our pajamas! Returning to the day to day school schedule after so many days off can be tricky. Here are some useful tips, which can help switch to normal schedule within a matter of days.
The first and most important part of getting everyone back on track is getting their sleep schedule back to what it was before winter break. We are going to start two days before school and make the bed time about 30 minutes before what it would be on a school night just to get everyone back into a routine. Good sleep is important to activate the hormonal system that has gone into hibernation. Before returning to work or school, try to take a short nap ranging from half hour to two hours during the day. Such naps will allow kids to mentally prepare for short sleep cycles during the night. It will also help in regaining energy and focus on things to come. And like we said earlier, try to get up early in the morning just a couple of days prior to the end of the winter break.
This one is crucial! Make a list of important things to do. Never leave any chores to the last minute because everyone will be a little cranky the fist day back. Remember, you won’t have enough time to manage yourself once the workweek is in full flow. If there are unattended tasks, only tackle the most important things first and leave the rest for the coming days. Make sure that they have everything ready for the school. You may need to go out for a shopping spree to get the necessary item. It may help to locate back-to-school deals on the Internet and newspapers.
Proper food plays an important role in keeping up your energy level. Before returning to school make a trip to the grocery store to stock up on healthy foods! Change your family diet to include more fruits and vegetables because carbohydrates help maintain metabolism. We start our morning off with a yogurt which helps aide in digestion and keep everything moving. Try to avoid caffeine rich drinks including coffee. Drinking a lot of water will help spur up the energy mechanism inside the body. Last but not least stay away from the sugary treats. During the holidays I am sure everyone had and abundant about of desserts to feast on but now it would be wise to try to eliminate as many sugars as possible and little to no processed foods. We have seen some big behavioral changes when the sugar is all but gone from our diet, you should test it for yourself!
TV & Video Games
How many lazy days of just sitting around and watching TV did your kids have this winter break? Kids easily become addicted to the Internet and TV. Instead of asking kids to switch-off the TV, it is wise to tell them to stop watching TV or playing video games after a specific time. There should be a deadline for such activities. A good alternate is to allow them to join an indoor club where they can relieve their energy instead of sitting in front of the TV screen.
Last Night Sleep
It is amazing how many parents are unaware of the potential problems faced by many school-going children on the last day of their vacation. It is natural for kids to feel uncomfortable on the last night. It may be because they are concerned about their homework. Some kids don’t want to head back to school because they are constantly bullied. Talk to your kids about their school activities and remind them that you are there to help them. If you feel that your child is still uncomfortable, it may help to sleep with them for a little while.
Winter breaks are essential to relieve the body of undue physical stress and emotional strain but now that it is over it is time for us all to return to our responsibilities! If we missed any back to school tips please let us know. How do you get your family back on a schedule after a long break or vacation?