From long summer days, to classrooms and classes. From games, to early rises and homework ... September, the month of going back to school , is always a difficult time for the little ones in the house, and this year even more so! With the imbalance that the global coronavirus pandemic brought to our lives, it turns out that our children have been glued to us for practically 6 months without stepping on school and, of course, now the return to routine is a little harder for children ... and also for parents.
It is more than proven that, in the first days or weeks of adaptation to the school period, children can suffer an equivalent to the 'post-vacation syndrome' that leaves them somewhat more depressed than normal and generates some anxiety; but they are not the only ones who suffer it. Parents also find ourselves in a situation in which we must adapt our schedules to those of the children, juggle to get to all the activities, modify our habits ... In short, the recovery of the routine with the return to school is something that should be done as a family , with everyone's involvement and with great enthusiasm! After all, after so many months, we all wanted a bit of 'normalcy', right?
Returning to the routine: the keys
As we have been saying, the main factor that brings the moment of going back to school into our day to day is the recovery of routines: we must set sleep schedules, take care of eating habits, distribute the moments of leisure… And although we know that these routines contribute positively to family life (children feel safer and parents feel less stressed), readjustment can be complicated.
Therefore, taking into account the main keys will help make this transition as smooth as possible and have a happy start to the course. Keep reading!
Adjust sleep schedules
This is the aspect that causes the most problems in our children and to which we must pay special attention. It is normal that, during the summer holidays, children have gotten used to going to bed and getting up later , but now it is time to get up early and, of course, children have a hard time getting used to it! For this reason, we recommend that the change is not radical and that you do it progressively: a trick is to advance bedtime 15 minutes each day , until you reach that ideal sleep time.
The routine is also important at this point: follow the order of shower, dinner and bed to prepare your body for sleep. In addition, it is important that, from the afternoon, you avoid them taking stimulants (chocolate, sweets or soft drinks) and that they watch any type of screen at night. The light radiated by devices such as television or tablets 'trick' the brain and alter the natural rhythm of sleep. A valid advice both for our children ... and for ourselves!
One more tip? Avoid stress in the mornings and sudden awakenings because you do not arrive at school on time ... It is best to notify the child ten minutes before the 'ideal' time so that he wakes up little by little and at his own pace, and thus you also have time to enjoy a nice family breakfast (every moment counts!).
Keep physical activity
Going back to school also means that our children lose part of the movement and activity they have during the summer : they no longer have all day to run and play, hobbies such as going to the pool or riding a bike are reduced, they spend more time seated ... For this reason, it is important to look for extracurricular activities that allow them to do some exercise for at least 1 hour a day and, incidentally, serve as motivation to face this fall. If you choose a sport that they like, they will be delighted!
In addition, together with physical activity, it is also important that you keep an eye on the issue of food and that you adapt the menus at home to the activity level of your little ones.
Time for games always!
As we said, with the beginning of the year, the children feel that they lose the freedom that vacations offer to spend the day having fun and doing what they like the most. However, it is important that in the middle of the routine of classes, homework and extracurricular activities they always have time to play . After all ... they are children!
Of course, do not forget to also establish some guidelines for those moments of leisure , so that they contribute to your family life. Limit the use of the screens to a certain time (a few minutes a day) and encourage family games in which you can also participate. With their schedules from school and yours from work, the time you spend together is worth a lot!
With these keys and a bit of motivation (always try to maintain a positive attitude), sure that your children will take better the return to 'normality' and everyone will be able to enjoy this new stage more.