Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tips on Getting Kids Back on a Routine

By Pam Dyson

Going back to school after a long holiday break is often welcomed by parents and dreaded by children. The first week back can be especially challenging. Here are some suggestions to make it less stressful.

Get Back Into A Routine. During the holiday break your children slept late and went to bed late. Establish a bedtime routine and a morning routine. Lay out clothes and backpacks the night before. Insist your child get enough sleep. Have a schedule of what each child needs to do in the morning. Trace an outline of their hand and write one chore on each finger. Some children will resist getting back into a routine. Be firm and don’t back down and you’ll soon be back into a manageable routine.

Serve Up Healthy Foods. The holidays were full of party foods, cookies and candies. Serve a healthy breakfast; pack a nutritious lunch and offer fruits and veggies for after school snacks. Make family meal time a priority. Enlist your children to help plan and prepare meals. Children are more likely to eat what they’ve helped prepare.

Be Alert To Anxiety. Some children experience head aches and stomach aches when it’s time to return to school. They enjoyed having extra time with you during the holidays and being away from you can cause anxiety. If you find no physical cause for their symptoms then consider your child may be pretending to be ill in order to continue spending time with you. Acknowledge their anxiety. Tell them you feel the same way. Then go to the family calendar and schedule specific times when you can give them some extra attention.

Be Prepared. It’s difficult to do your best at school if you don’t have the proper tools. Take inventory of school supplies that might be broken or missing and purchase replacements. New pencils and a notebook might just be the motivation a child needs to get excited about going back to school.

Going back to school after the holidays is a challenging transition but with a plan it can be manageable and enjoyable.

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Petula said...

Yea, getting back into a routine after a long break is really tough. I think the hardest part about getting back into a routine is waking up on time.

Sandie lee said...

Yes, I agree. Thanks for stopping by :)

Amy said...

Trying to get back into routine after the holidays and sickness. Pam, I was pleasantly surprised to see your post. I "know" you from momslikeme.

Pam Dyson, MA, LPC, RPT said...

Hi Amy! Looks like our paths cross in a couple of places. I'll have to check out your blog.

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