Happy New Year First 5 Families and Friends! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season now over, many parents may find it challenging to get their little ones back into their normal home and school routines. As parents are returning to work and schools reopen, schedules are no longer as flexible as they were during the winter holiday season and shaking it off may be difficult. Motivating children to return to routines smoothly is tough; here are some tips and tricks to make the transition easier:
- Return to a Normal Sleep Schedule
- Scale back screen time: At the end of a long day, or when you just want a moment of quiet time, it can be common for parents to turn to the TV. Set an example and limit screen time exposure. This will relax the brain and prep your kids for heavier and healthier sleep.
- A good night’s sleep is imperative to a child’s performance at school. Implement early bedtimes to ensure your child gets healthy sleep and a head start to their day.
- Make sleep fun! Bedtime stories are great sleep incentives. Not only do they help get your children excited for bed, but it will also calm them so they are ready to snooze.
- Embrace Healthy Eating Habits
- Make fruit attractive! Have fruits and veggies easily accessible and visible throughout the house; this will encourage the family to grab healthier food options rather than the holiday leftovers stuffed in the fridge.
- Make cooking fun! Facilitate healthy eating with reliable and consistent snack and meal times. Ask your children to help you cook dinner or make lunch. When children see parents create healthy meals they desire to want to make and eat them too.
- Talk about good habits: Communicate how you feel when you eat well and stay active with your kids. Weave healthy eating habits into the fabric of conversation with your little ones.
- Return to normal routine dinner hours, this will encourage regular dinner times and transition into healthy sleep schedules.
Promoting healthy habits and sailing into post-holiday routines reduces the risk of your child getting sick at home and at school. To lessen stress on your child about returning to the classroom, encourage open communication about how they feel, what they are most excited for in the classroom and what may scare them. Recognizing their feelings and validating their stresses, insecurities and excitements strengthen relationships and promote healthy social interactions. As parents and caregivers, demonstrating that you are emotionally and socially available increases your children’s feelings of security, being understood and acknowledged. In turn, this helps your children better cope with stressors in the home and at school.