First 5 LA’s 5 Ways to Get Back on Schedule After a Break

After weeks of late nights, travel and lots of excitement, getting back to a normal schedule can be a challenge for both parents and children. Here are someways to get back on track with a schedule for your family:

  • Reinforce your family’s routine. Talk to your kids about their normal schedule, from the time when everyone gets up to bedtime. To ease kids into getting back on a regular routine, start a few days before school starts. Make those times a little special, such as reading an extra book while starting bedtime a little earlier than usual.
  • Turn off screens. Vacation may have been a movie-fest, but getting back on track means cutting back on screen time, and turning off devices and televisions an hour before bedtime. Studies show that the blue light emitted from screens prevents the production of melatonin, which helps us fall asleep. To help kids get the sleep that they need, read a story together, talk or sing before sleep instead.
  • Get back to eating healthy meals. Sure, holidays and vacations are all about indulging, but all the fat, salt and, of course, sugar may interfere with your child’s energy and ability to sleep. As soon as possible, put leftover treats in the freezer. Using the healthy eating guidelines from MyPlate, create meals with your children using lots of different colors of fresh vegetables, protein and fruit.
  • Ease back into your regular routine with scheduled, quiet family time. After dinner, do an activity such as drawing or building something together. While these activities help children learn, they are also calming and can help ease children back into their regular schedule after the excitement of a break from school or child care.
  • Make a daily checklist before school starts up again. Include brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating breakfast, going to school or child care, reading, and other activities. As children check off activities after completing them, they feel a sense of accomplishment and “ownership” over their regular schedule. This helps them feel safe — and helps days after a break run more smoothly!
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