We’re into our second full week at school and calm has descended on the household. My realization is that my children need order, rigidity, routine and that’s what school provides.
For most children, the school holidays are looked upon with delight. No more mum dragging you out of bed at that ungodly hour of 7am. So what if you want to hang out in your PJs til tea-time. Who cares if you want to watch back-to-to-back cartoon network. Woo hoo, school’s out for the summer.
No such luck in my house. The summer holiday jitters started about two weeks before school was out. Tempers flared, anxiety levels were raised, uncontrollable fidgeting, shouting and screaming. All of this happened about once, twice maybe three time a day or even more.
Just as the summer holidays came to a close I came across this great website: Parenting Advice for Foster Carers and Adopters.
Free to join until November the site is packed full of advice, useful tips and experiences shared by other parents.
Top tips for coping for the summer holidays (or any holiday for that matter):
1 Talk to your child(ren) about where you are going, what the accommodation will be like, where they’ll sleep, where and what you’ll eat. This can reduce the sense of surprise.
2 Prepare each day, and talk your child through what’s going to happen. Maintain the usual routine.
3 Consider going to the same place for the annual summer holiday. Forget spontaneity – it’s all about routine, routine and more routine.
4 Take lots of pictures, collect souvenirs and consider making a scrap-book when you get back. Consider taking photos of their bedroom, toys etc. I wish I had taken a few familiar books and toys. My kids missed their toys and their bedroom. Well at least I know they like their home!
5 Manage your expectations. Holidays are stressful for the kids and this may play out in their behaviour. It did for us!
Phew…summer is over, I can’t tell you how glad I am we’re back to school!
(First published 19/09/13)