Holidays are something that children look forward to even more than adults. There are no more schedules they have to take care of. They can sleep late; something they are not allowed to do during normal days. They get to go to places and travel for fun. They get to load themselves with candies. It would not be wrong to say that their life is most probably utter bliss during vacations.
But like the age old cliché goes: good things do not last forever. Vacations come to an end and kids have school work to get back to. This transition from a virtually do-as-you-please schedule to one involving set timings for every activity – including eating, sleeping, waking up, playing, studying –is quite a difficult one and affects not only children but their parents as well. After all, the parents are the ones having to face their kids’ tantrums and address their concerns. Following are some tips that you, as a parent, can use to make sure that this transition is not something that makes you regret getting that time off for both you and your child.
Talk to your child
Talk to your child about the routine that they have to get back to post vacation. Remind them about the school, their teachers, their classmates or even the activities they get to perform at school. Ask them if they are looking forward to meeting new people and if they refuse you know that you have to coax them into preparing for school days. It is better to prepare them a few days before rather than surprising them in the morning -or even the night before- so that the tantrums the next day are not too much to bear.
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Understand your child
If your child has had the time of their life at the vacation, they are probably not be very willing to get back into routine and go to school. If that is the case, understand their feelings. Realize that you were probably the same at their age. Let them show frustration. However, be firm about it, without yelling at them. Yelling does not help; rather, it only worsens the situation.
Learn more: The JOY of studying over holiday break
Get in the routine
Next, start getting them in the routine. Again, do this a couple of days before the vacations end. Whether you spent the holidays travelling to other places or in your hometown only, the kids probably were no longer in the routine of getting up early in the morning, having their meals on time, doing work and sleeping on time. If you have a heart you must have allowed them to stay up longer than usual and have more than the routine TV time. You would have taken them out more often and let them have dessert in the evening, then again at night. All this will need to be wrapped up. Do not, however, stop everything immediately; you will only face a rebellion. Do it slowly and gradually. For instance, you could start with pushing their bedtime earlier by ten minutes each day.
Learn more: How to be prepared for school
Your children had the time of their life during the vacation and they love to spend time thinking and talking about it. The boring school life and routine is definitely not something they want to spend extra time thinking about. Allow them to reminisce those vacation days. Help them make an album of vacation pictures, or maybe paint something they saw there. Preserving those memories would help them get through the phase.
Getting your child on track some days before school reopens is the key. Waiting for the last day is going to create problems for you as well as your kid. Exposing them to books around a week or two before school starts can help. Correct bedtime so they are able to get enough sleep, and not worn out from going to bed late and getting up early. Lack of sleep causes health problems, crankiness throughout the day, and lack of concentration in the classroom; so they’ll have trouble understanding their courses, which makes their homework suffer. Getting into the habit of healthy and on-time meals is important for the same reason.And I’m pretty sure there is nothing more important than your child’s health.
What do you do to ease your children back into school after vacation time?
James Smith is a passionate blogger who likes to write on ever existing health issues specifically for kids. He writes for various quality blogs around and is a staff writer for CentraCare Pediatrics, a pediatric urgent care provider.