Managing Kids’ Back-to-School Transition After the Winter Holidays

Isn't winter break relaxing? For your kids, we mean. You've likely been running hither and yon, setting up holidays, buying gifts, and generally more rushed than usual. Some families, because it's the holidays and the kids have more free time, have relaxed the rules a bit for screens. So what happens when winter break ends and the kids are getting back on the school bus? How do you return to your normal rules?

Maintain Some Rules
While we might treat our screen time like our diet over the holidays, it is important to maintain some rules. Older kids especially will likely have homework over the break, so sit down with their lesson plans and work out set amounts of time during the day when the screens are off and the books are open. You may also want to set some expectations around chores and housework, to “fill in” what would normally be homework time, because you’ll need the help.

Start The Week Before
One way to make it easier on everybody is instead of an abrupt change, to ease your kids back into their school routines. Don’t do this with just screens, of course. Do it with sleep schedules, meal times, chores, and other aspects of family life that you need to get back on track. It’s not only good for them, it’s good for you; not having to suddenly rush everybody when the first school day comes will be a lot less stressful and a lot more fun for everybody.

Have Plenty To Do
Another way to keep screens from becoming a problem over the holidays is to have more stuff for kids to do. Especially with free time in the winter, make room to do things like play outside, explore the outdoors, go to movies and events, head to museums you’ve wanted to go to, and to otherwise enjoy and explore where you live with your family. Inside the house, make a point of family time. Have family game night, watch movies together, and do all the things you want to do during the year but may not always have time to during the week.