We're halfway through January, but do you still feel like you're running around without purpose? Even with New Year's resolutions dutifully made and holiday decorations (mostly) packed away, the middle of January still feels like we're always rushing to catch up.
Like post-vacation blues that leave you with an "overall decrease in well-being and work productivity following a satisfying vacation," the month after the holidays can leave us feeling let down.
And our kids feel it too. They had free time, parties, treats, and fun throughout December, but it all came to a crashing end shortly after New Year's. And now here they are -- smack dab in the middle of the January doldrums.
The only way out?
It's not nagging. It's not yelling.
It's a routine.
That's right. Routines bring in the structure your kids are needing right now. Even if your child can tell time, he won't always order his day by hours and minutes. Rather, to a child, life is a series of events. And when those events are predictable and routine, your children develop a healthy sense of structure. That structure helps them feel safe. -- which means they're happier, more cooperative, and less inclined to fight.
Here's how to get your kids back into a routine after the holidays.
1. Start With Bedtime
We all know our kids don't function well if they're not getting enough sleep. With extracurricular activities restarting after the holiday break, your bedtime routines may be getting pushed back a bit. Take control of that now, and enforce a strict bedtime. The routine itself doesn't have to be strict, however. Make it a game with Brili!
2. Figure Out the Best Wake-Up Time
With enough sleep under their belts, your kids will be able to wake up with plenty of time to get everything done in the mornings. Add up all their morning tasks, estimate how much time they each take, and then add an extra five-minute cushion. Now, using that time, count backwards from the time they need to be walking out the door. That's the time they should be waking up each day. Brili automatically calculates this for you when you create a morning routine.
3. Analyze Your Afternoons
Do the same thing for your afternoons. Schedule in homework, practices, and chores, always allowing for wiggle room and downtime. Set a clear order of tasks, so your children always know what they should be doing at any given time.
4. Give Them the Responsibility
Responsibility varies depending on many factors, including age and maturity level, but routines are a perfect place to give your kids a taste of real-world responsibility while still under your guidance. Most kids won't fight you on this; in fact, they'll likely welcome the chance to do something independently. Determine how much your child can responsibly handle on her own, and turn it over to her. Set clear expectations, and make it easier by giving her a chart, checklist, or Brili to help her stay on track.
5. Stay Close by, but Don't Hover
Make yourself available to help, and periodically check on your child. But don't be obvious about it. Give your kids the chance to manage their routines to the best of their abilities.
6. Keep Trying
Something always comes up to throw the schedule out of whack. Roll with it, and jump back into your routine as soon as you can. Brili makes this easy because all you have to do is open an app, and Brili will take care of the rest.