The holidays are full of fun and cheer, and with your kids being out of school, it could be one of their favourite times of the year. However, with the fun and cheer comes the changes in schedule, which can be particularly difficult for children. That’s why coming up with a consistent — but flexible — morning routine is so important for making sure the season is as special and stress-free as possible for every member of the family. Keep reading for six steps to a good family morning routine during the holidays.
6 Steps for a Good Morning Routine over the Christmas Holidays
1.Keep a Clean Home
No matter what time of year it is, a clean and organised home makes a big difference in your stress levels. If your kids have certain household responsibilities, it helps to keep those somewhat in place when they are home from school — even if it takes some adjusting with the new schedule. If you can invest in a cleaning service, they can save you a lot of time and strife during the holidays.
2. Get to Bed Around the Same Time
Even when your kids don’t leave for school early in the morning, you don’t want to stray too far from your routine. Part of enjoying the season and making the most of your time together is ensuring everyone is well-rested. Each day starts the night before, so ensure everyone gets to bed at a decent hour. It can also help to make morning preparations before bed.
3. Wake Up Before the Kids
Mornings can go much smoother if you get out of bed at least 15 to 30 minutes before your kids do. This will allow you time to review the schedule for the day, get things loaded in the car if you’re going somewhere, prepare breakfast, and so on. If you wake up early enough, you may even have time to shower, get dressed, and have your coffee.
4. Try to Stick to Normal Eating Habits
The changes in your holiday schedule will require some flexibility, but try to stay somewhat close to your family’s normal diet and eating times. This means monitoring what your kids are eating at special dinners and bringing along healthy snacks if necessary. Also, when your kids are on a steady eating schedule, it helps their energy and blood sugar levels remain consistent and reduces the likelihood of surprise meltdowns.
5. Make for Special Memories
Routine is essential to a stress-free season, but you want to make sure you allow for some spontaneity as well. Holiday memories are formed by embracing the season and doing special things with the family.
Sometimes that means planning a fun family activity, and sometimes it means going on a last-minute trip out-of-town. The more of a routine you have in place, the more room you have for spontaneity. Also, make sure to have distraction-free times with the family where you eat a meal, play a game, and do things that don’t involve a TV or phone.
6. Practice Patience
As a parent, one of the biggest parts of enjoying the holidays is being patient. Remember that routines provide a sense of security for children, and when those routines are altered, it can affect their moods and behaviour. Stay calm and collected, and lead by example when they feel overwhelmed with parties, travelling, and other events that come with the holiday season.
The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time for families. Coming up with a routine while staying flexible will help you achieve that. Try to maintain a clean home, make sure everyone goes to bed at a decent hour, and wake up before your kids to prepare for the day. Also, stay close to your normal diet and eating times when you can, leave room for spontaneity, plan fun family activities, and remember to be patient.
Article written by single dad, Daniel Sherwin of DadSolo.com