The holiday season is an exciting time of the year for everyone. As a result, the time away from regular schedules can severely impact routines that have developed over time. Holidays have a greater effect on the daily schedule of children as they enjoy an extended break away from the formal foundations of a school setting. Here are a few tips to assist you with keeping a routine in place for your children as they holiday away from the Montessori school system.
1 – Manage Stress
One thing is certain about the holidays – there are many stresses that can develop. With too many activities jammed into a day, this could prove to be counterproductive. Keep the individual tolerance level of your child and family members in mind before packing a lot of activities into the days leading up to and including Christmas.
2 – Manage Disruptions
The biggest change that can take place over the holiday season is a disruption in the daily routine. For example, if your child has a nap time at a certain time each day, do not allow outside pressures to alter that. By keeping the schedule in place without bending to circumstances will continue to build the consistency that existed before the holiday break.
3 – Manage Meals
One thing is certain about the holiday season – meals tend to change. That means some meals may be later than normally scheduled as households sleep in later and dinners may be later to allow for company to arrive. Plus, there will be plenty of sweets available during the day. If your child eats meals at specific times, try to keep that routine in place. Also, provide healthy meal choices to balance the sweets.
4 – Manage Gift Opening
Sometimes we put extra emphasis on a child to open all of their gifts in one sitting so the gift givers can celebrate the reactions to a special item. At this time of year it is important to respect your child’s needs. If they want to play with a gift without opening more, let them do that. Additional gifts can be opened later when your child is ready to do so. Or your family can try different gift giving routines to break up the holiday expectations.
5 – Manage Time
Staying locked up indoors throughout the holidays is another routine breaker. Fresh air is always a good idea and can easily be fit into a daily routine during the holiday. Plan for some quality time with a family car ride or a leisurely stroll around the neighbor to admire Christmas decorations. The break away from the home environment will be good for everyone and will create good memories to share when school reconvenes.