Posted by Lora Patton, Region 4 Director in CCR&R Blog on 11/16/2017

If you talk with people about what has happened during a day, typically you will find that there is some sort of consistent order or routine to what goes on. As adults, we may get ready each morning in the same order so that we successfully get out the door to head to work. When we add children to a family, it often becomes even more apparent that routines can help in a successful start to the day. Studies show that routines provide a sense of security for children as they achieve a sense of mastering something. My 5 year old has turned to me on more than one occasion when I remind her of what to do next with the typical, “Mommmm, I got this!” Routines can simply make life easier and feel better as we know what to expect.

Let’s Throw in the Holidays! 

Family coming to visit schools or child care programs with altered hours or closures can lead to bed times being later and wake up times being different. It is important during the chaos of the holidays that you try to find some kind of routine that your family can rely on. Eating and sleeping should take priority. Eating can become sporadic and not always healthy during holidays, so try to find something that you can count on that everyone likes and will provide nourishment to keep you going. And… emotions are often high with excitement, so ensuring that children (and adults) get enough sleep can be key to avoiding meltdowns. Other things to keep in mind as you face the busy time of year:

  • Take comfort items on the road. Things that are familiar to children will make them feel more secure and comfortable as they spend time away from home.
  • Have a plan around screen time. All of the sudden, the day will go by and you may find it has all been spent around electronics.  Set limits ahead of time for yourself and your children, then everyone will know what to expect.
  • Plan group activities to get people moving. Children are used to some physical activity during their “normal days” so be sure they get that during the holidays as well. Moving our bodies keeps our minds moving too!
  • Enjoy the time! While holidays give us a good excuse to break from routines, it can also be a good time to sneak away from the business of everyday life and create memories with your family like reading a special book for bedtime or creating a special meal.

You know your family best and thinking through some of the details of a busy and exciting time can help it be happier and more successful! 

 

Tags: holidays , routines , schedules , bed time , healthy meals , physical activity

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