Sadly, the Yom Tovim have ended. Now it is back to life. Most parents and children do better with a routine. However, when we have not been on a regular schedule for a long time (since Rosh Hashana), it can be tricky to get back on track.
This is what we call a transition time. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, in her book, “Raising a Spirited Child”, talks about children who have a temperament that makes it difficult for them to adapt to different situations, activities, or schedules. It is the trait of “Adaptability.”
Adaptability is the ability to make smooth transitions. As we mentioned above, some children and adults cannot move from one activity to another. Change is very difficult for them. They have trouble shifting gears. So moving from Yom Tov time back to school can be extra tough for these children. However, I think it is just plain tough for everyone!
So what can we do? Here are 3 skills every parent must know to ease your children back into school and on a regular schedule:
1. Name it:
It is helpful if we identify transitions and use the word “transition” to describe to our children what is happening during this time period.
“After being on vacation for so long for Succos, it can be tough to get back into the swing of things. This is a transition time. It feels kind of funny. Soon we will get used to our school schedule and our bed time routine. Soon it will feel normal again.
2. Name it some more:
Kids need their feelings affirmed while they are moving through this transition:
“It feels tough to go back to school after a relaxing and fun Yom Tov.”
“You really liked staying up late with your cousins over Yom tov. It feels hard to get back to bed times.”
“You weren’t expecting Yom Tov to be over so quickly!”
“It is hard to leave Savta’s house, travel home and then be ready to go back to school so quickly!”
3. More stuff you need to know:
Problem Solving with kids to help them make a smooth transition can also be helpful:
“Is there something you could take with you to school that would help you feel more comfortable?”
“What would help bed time feel easier for you?”
“What do you need to do before you are ready for school?”
“How can we make this transition easier for you?”
As parents, we can help ourselves and our kids get through this time period. Don’t worry too much though, Chanukah is just around the corner!
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.