The most wonderful time of year has come and passed and it’s finally time to get back into the swing of things. As adults, we know how much we dread that first Monday back to work after a couple of weeks away. For kids, the feelings are similar and the change can result in some unwanted behavior. Here’s a few tips for getting your children back into their regular routine as painlessly as possible.
Prepare Your Child
Don’t let the first day of school creep up without warning. The weekend before, explain to your child that he or she will be returning to school again soon. Take the preparation one step further by reinforcing bed time. Much like our minds and bodies need time to readjust to our sleep patterns, kids need it, too. Getting them to bed earlier will make the Monday morning wake-up call much easier to handle.
Get Back to YOUR Routine
Kids look at our behavior much more than we realize. If you are reinstating your own bedtime and setting your alarm to wake up early each morning, chances are your child will fall back into their own routine easier.
Preserve Holiday Memories
If your child is having trouble letting go of the holidays, have him or her prepare a memory box. Gather photos and other keepsakes, like a piece of wrapping paper or an ornament, and have your child decorate a shoebox to place these items in. Explain to your child that he or she can look in the box anytime they want to remember how much fun the holidays were. This can become a tradition for years to come.
Let Them Protest
If your child has a less-than-happy reaction to the news of returning to school, let them have their meltdown. The truth is, we’d like to have our own pity party over returning to work and we shouldn’t expect our children to feel any different. So, give them time to express their feelings then firmly explain that though you understand and sympathize with them, they still have to return to school. Chances are, having a little meltdown now will prevent any problems the morning of.
Show Extra Love
Separation anxiety is often the culprit of children’s disdain for returning to school, so be sure to spend a little extra time snuggling and loving on your child so they will feel secure.