The Christmas Holiday is one of the most anticipated times of the year for both parents and kids alike. It’s probably the longest time to put away both work and school schedules! It’s time for coming together, celebrating, and bonding for longer periods of time!
We all wish that the holidays would stretch forever, but we must face the reality that most of the time, the two to three-week-long holidays feel like a blink of an eye. One day, the kids are enjoying their longer sleeps in the morning and having you by their side all day, and the next day, the kids would be waking up to an early alarm with you all dressed up for work!
How do we help our kids ease back into “regular programming”? How do we properly condition them that the holidays aren’t going to stay forever? Here are some ways we hope could help them ease back to the regular schedule.
This holiday planner doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be creative or attractive either! Whether you’re using a physical or digital calendar or planner, make sure first that your kid can see the “start” (of holiday) and “end” (of holiday) dates. Use this planner to establish a morning routine of identifying the date and the day of the week, and the activities you have for the day. When your kids have a visual cue, they will be guided on how many days they have left before mommy and daddy go back to work again.
Just as we start to put up Christmas decorations as soon as the -ber months arrive to signal the coming of the season, we should also set aside time to pack away before school resumes to signal the end of the season. When we do this, our children can easily see the difference between “It’s still the holidays” and “The holidays are over.”
You may be on an out-of-town or out-of-the-country trip for the holidays. While it’s best to enjoy and savor in every moment, it’s not so bad to subtly talk about things to do “when we get back home.” This will help your kids have an idea that you have to leave for work again (if that applies) once holidays are over.
During the holidays, you might have slept a little later to give way to watch one more film with the family, or neglected siesta time altogether because of parties and get-togethers. At least a week before the school days commence, go back to the routine your child used to have before the holidays. This way, he or she is conditioned to get enough sleep at night in time to wake up early the next day. If your child is not attending school yet, then just go back to the routine he/she had before the holidays.
While work and school days are inevitable, you and your kids can always look forward to weekends again. On the day back to work or school, count the number of days before another weekend, and plan a simple activity or something exciting with them! Just don’t overpromise, because they might feel like there’s another long holiday coming soon! Be firm and truthful. Tell them that even if you’ll go back to work soon, you’ll always make time for them – and really mean it.