After the holidays, it can be tough to get back in the swing of things. Everyone has had a few extra days off, including the kids. They may have gotten away with staying up late, sleeping in, and certainly taking a break from school activities. In most schools, the second semester of the year starts either this week or next so it is very important to get a fast start on good grades to finish the year. Here are a few strategies that you might consider to get that fast start in your home:
- Start fresh. With a New Year and new semester comes new opportunities. All grades are zeroed out and everyone starts at the same mark. Hanging on to the accomplishments (or lack thereof) from the past does little to create success in the upcoming semester.
- Contact your child’s teachers. Take a moment to reach out to them and understand what’s in store for the rest of the year and catch up on any concerns about your child.
- Create a new routine. Taking a different route to school or doing things in a different order in the morning can get the creative juices flowing in your child. By seeing things in a different light, it forces their brains to stand up and take note.
- Ease back into your normal after-school schedule. Remember that your child has lots of new toys or things to distract them, and they’ve spent the better part of the last two weeks enjoying those items. Cut them a little slack for a couple of weeks if they want to play right when they get home, and slowly work back into your normal homework regimen.
- Stick to your bedtimes. A good, solid sleep schedule will do wonders for your child’s attentiveness, alertness, and demeanor.
- Be aware of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is a very real phenomenon also known as the winter blues. It affects most normal people with depression-like symptoms, and it is usually associated with spending lots of time indoors during the short days of winter. Engage your child in different activities to help combat this disorder. We like to take our kids bowling or skating when the weather is cold and get them outside when possible.
- Remember that the holidays were disruptive for everyone, including you. Going back to work can also jolt you back into reality in a negative way. Whatever you do, don’t take out your own frustrations of going back to work or getting back to normal on your child. The better your attitude towards life and getting back to normal, the better your child’s attitude will be.
- Be patient. It may take everyone a few days to get back to normal.
- If your college child is still home from their holiday break, involve them in the daily routines also. It will be good for them to get back to waking in the morning and, as young adults, they can help you get the rest of the household back on track.
However you cope with the situation, realize that this return to life is short-lived and that it will soon pass. Give your home and your children the boost that they need to get ahead and stay ahead to finish the year strong.