Going Back to School After a Break

Going Back to School After a Break

Some children have nearly as much difficulty returning to school after a break as they do starting school in the fall. They don’t want to go to bed, or get up, or do their homework. They may be extra tired, or grumpy, or distracted. You may be disappointed that the transition is not going better. [Click on the title to read the entire post.]

First, don’t be surprised! Many children are out of sorts in early January. Try to keep problems in perspective. You made it through September, and you and your child can get through this too. If you found resources that helped in September, take the time to find them again. Although it may feel disappointing to have to ‘do it all again,’  think of it as another opportunity to help your child learn to manage changes in their lives.

Second, it’s important to establish or resume a clear routine. Have specific times for important daily activities. This means a regular bedtime with a calm bedtime routine such as a soothing warm bath and stories. A rested child is more flexible. Have a time and place set aside for homework. Review chore charts. It may be helpful to write the schedule down, either in words or pictures. Children like to be included in developing the schedule and this helps them feel ownership of results.

Provide healthy meals on a regular schedule. If you tend to serve lots of starches, now is a good time to review the new ‘food plate’ (replacing the food pyramid) so that your child has the energy and emotional balance to manage their daily tasks.

Be sure there is lots of physical activity to help your child self-regulate and recharge their batteries. Most children are happy to play outside even if it is cold and dark. Turn on the porch lights and bundle them up. Remember that outdoor air revitalizes in a way that indoor air does not.

Plan some fun activities for January and February. Talk with your child about the transition back to school or daycare. Listen to their concerns. Problem solve or commiserate as needed. 

So, don’t be surprised, have a schedule, get enough rest, eat well, get plenty of exercise, and talk about problems. Soon you will both be back in the routine!

Blog Disclaimer:  Please be aware that this blog contains general information. It is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as treatment or a recommendation or prescription for a particular child. If you have questions about your child, please talk to your pediatrician or seek other professional services.