How to get back into the school routine after the Christmas holidays
As the sparkle of this Christmas holidays dims and the thought of school and work comes back into our busy parent minds, it’s time for families to transition from festive fun to the familiar routine. Fear not, dear parents out there! Here are our 5 best tips to smooth the way.
1. Make gradual adjustments: This tip might be the most important. Begin by slowly reintroducing school year bedtimes and mealtimes a few days before the classes start. Every day for example 15 minutes earlier. This gradual adjustment helps reset internal clocks without forcing the change. Kind of the same as when we must change from summer to wintertime.
2. Organize with fun: Let’s make getting ready for school a bit more fun. Ask the kids to gather their school clothes, sports kit, backpacks, lunchboxes and snack containers as if they’re on a special mission. They can search around the house for everything they’ll need for the upcoming days. And yes, sometimes that means fishing things out of the laundry basket or picking up items off the floor 😜. If they’re able to read and write, encourage them to make a list. They’ll enjoy ticking items off their list – it’s like they’re playing a game and winning at it!
3. Reflect on memories together: Create a memory book together. This not only serves as a creative project together to wind down every evening without screens, but also allows children to process the transition from holiday excitement to daily structure. No time or mood for this? Do what we call “telling time”: a special extra time with every kid in their bed where they get to tell you what the coolest thing for them this holiday was: what was the best food they ate, what was their favorite moment or gift… It helps them recapitulate and go to sleep with thankful thoughts. Try it out!
4. Set age appropriated expectations: Have a family meeting to discuss the upcoming routine. Setting clear expectations can alleviate the anxiety of the upcoming for both parents and children. This also gives children the ownership to take care of their own responsibilities, something they all enjoy in some measure, depending on their age of course.
5. Embrace the imperfect: Did I say the first point was maybe the most important? Hmm… I take it back 😛 Remember, it’s okay if the first few days are a bit bumpy. Encourage children to follow these small steps to fall back into routine. Take it easy, it’s better to go to sleep 5 minutes later relaxed than 5 minutes earlier grumpy.
Please keep in mind that, while routines are essential, so are the memories made from building pillow forts and de-stimulating storytelling. So, take a breath and jump into the new year with a blend of structure and spontaneity. Cheers to a happy return to the everyday!
Lots of love,