Yeah you know the rest of that line: “for school to start again!”
Holiday break is just about here and more than two weeks of school-free days are weighing on my mind.
I always think about this time with excitement and a healthy dose of fear. I love the more relaxed schedules and knowing that my daughter gets a little break and time to rest. I love that we spend more time together as a family and that we have the opportunity to plan some fun outings and trips.
But then I worry about what to do with the long winter days. How to keep her calm amidst a flurry of routine disruptions and over-the-moon excitement. We all know that most children thrive on routine and predictability but these weeks can bring anything but.
Here are some thoughts to help us all enjoy the holiday break and ease our way into a bright, new year.
Try to keep some routine
The Brooksfield school day involves quite a bit of routine and, if your children are anything like mine, you get to witness this as they routinely bring it up at home! You probably won’t be able to replicate the school-day routine at home (and don’t worry, you shouldn’t!) but do try to create a rather predictable order of events during holiday break. Even something as simple as keeping your school-day wake-up routine will help set the day in motion in a familiar way and help ease the overboard excitement about what the day might hold!
Talk early and often about special trips and moments and events
Keeping a routine is great but when family and friends are in and out, or you and your children are traveling and visiting, and everyone is bearing gifts and dolling out substantial amount of sugar, predictability often goes out the window. If you are traveling this season or hosting family or friends, talk with your child about what is going to happen. Walk them through the order of events (“We’ll have lunch, and then we’ll drive to the airport, and then we’ll probably stand in line a bit, and but then we’ll get on the plane!”) Plan out with them what activities they’ll want to take on long car rides. And talk often. The more they hear the plan, the more likely they’ll be to follow it easily.
Create some quiet moments
All of this extra time together presents the opportunity for some lovely moments with our children. Tempting as it might be to use your time for all of those house-chores that you’d love to tick off before the end of the year, take a few moments over the next few weeks to sit and play with your children. Pick up a crayon and color with them or dive into a new lego project. The quiet time will bring a wonderful moment of calm for them and give you the opportunity to talk with your child or just simply be there in the same moment with them for a bit.
Wishing you a lovely holiday season and a happy new year!
(Photo courtesy of Flickr)