So, the holidays are over, but the kids are still in vacation mode. They have had over a week of fun, free time and family gatherings. Add to that a diet that has probably consisted of things that are less than healthy. January can truly be a month that starts out feeling like post-holiday let down. So, how do you establish order and get through the remaining long weeks of this month?
There are some basic things that can be done to get everyone’s schedules back on track. It starts with routine;
Bedtime – It may take a couple of days to dial it back, but this is the best place to start. Be sure to set an age appropriate bedtime and expect children to adhere to it on a nightly basis.
Meals – plan meals (including snacks), schedule them at consistent times and balance them with proper nutrition.
Exercise – January can be quite chilly, but bundling up for a quick walk or run outside can do wonders. For those who just cannot tolerate the cold, plan some sort of indoor physical exercise (if you need help, there are some great videos online for all ages and levels).
Screen time – time to cut back on screen time. Chances are the kids had more access than they normally do. Screen time includes use of video games, cell phones and television. Try playing a board game or doing some reading. Start the process of winding down about an hour before bedtime.
Chores and responsibilities – expect that chores and other responsibilities (including homework) be done at usual times. If this was area that was not well framed out, now is a good time to develop it. Create a chore chart that is age appropriate. As for homework, establish a quiet space conducive of timely work production. If you are met with resistance, be sure to stick with the plan. Kids actually do well with routines and structure. Be patient.