One of my least favorite tasks as a parent is trying to get my kids back on a schedule after the holidays are over. During the holiday break, they get to sleep when they want, eat a lot of foods that I normally don’t let them eat, and play games all the time. It’s a total free for all most of the time. So when the holidays are over and they need to go back to school getting them back into a routine is horrible. They are crabby and tired and awful and I’m crabby and tired and awful and it can take up to two weeks for everyone to get settled back into their routine. But there are some things that you can do as a parent to make it easier to get your kids back into a routine when the holidays are over like:
Keep A Consistent Wake Up Through The Holidays
At first, people thought I was nuts to give up my chance to sleep in during the holidays. But now during the holiday breaks, I get up and make my kids get up at the same time they have to get up for school. They can go back to bed or take a nap after breakfast if they want, and if they go back to bed so do I, but getting them up on a consistent schedule takes one of the biggest hurdles of getting them into a routine again. When they keep getting up at a consistent time it’s much easier to get that school routine going again when winter break is over.
I’m not a mean enough mom to make my kids go to bed early during Christmas break. And with holiday parties and other events, it’s not always possible for them to stick to their usual bedtime. But I do make them observe quiet hours. Quiet hours start around 9 PM unless we have a holiday event to go to an end after breakfast. During quiet hours they can’t have any technology and they can’t play video games or watch tv. They can read quietly or play quietly with toys in their rooms or they can go to sleep. But because they have to stay in their rooms they usually end up falling asleep pretty quickly. Quiet hours make sure that they are winding down and not getting a rush of energy or adrenaline from watching screens or playing video games.
Remind Them That A Change In Routine Is Coming
My kids usually have three weeks off during the holidays and that’s a long time for small kids. By the time the break is over they have almost always gotten used to the routine of not being in school and then they need to adjust back. But kids need time to adapt to changes in their routine. So I make sure that I remind them at least once a day after the holidays that they will be going back to school soon. Preparing them for change in advance makes the changes in schedule easier.
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