family. Maintain a good rhythm during school holidays

The school year is over and the long-awaited children arrive. The strictness of school is over, the lunchtime canteen, the ban on watching cartoons in the morning, going to bed early, math exercises… It’s almost summer vacation!

If the prospect of easing daily restrictions is something that pleases the little ones, then for some parents it will be pointless to lose good habits that were difficult to acquire during the year. Admittedly, vacations are first and foremost a vector of well-deserved rest after ten months of hard work on the school bench, but they should not be synonymous with a clean slate of a child’s adaptive rhythm of life. Otherwise, beware of the beginning of the school year…

Beware of small deviations!

A laid-back movie here, an evening movie there… Sleep is the first thing that comes to mind during the summer holidays. The biological rhythm of the child, specific to each of them, is completely different from the school rhythm. So vacations are a way to allow him to better listen to his body, while not disturbing his habits too much.

  • Until the age of 6 years, you must maintain the same rhythm as in everyday life, even if the temptation to sleep late seems to promise parents a late awakening as well. In fact, this technique does not work, and a small child will only lose valuable rest time that he cannot make up.
  • After 6 years, sleep is prolonged and bedtime can then be changed by an hour or two during nighttime outings. To counterbalance the lack of rest, we can anticipate the day before, by putting the child to bed an hour earlier if he cannot fall asleep in the morning. It is the little one above all who dictates his law in terms of sleep: if he shows signs of fatigue during the day, it is necessary to return to the usual rhythm. A few days before the start of the school year, it is also advisable to resume the same bedtime ritual as during the school period.

Until the age of six, it is good to stick to the usual schedules.

Vacations are also synonymous with barbecues with friends, and picnics to the fairground accompanied by crunchy churros or mini ice cream to enjoy the sea spray. Lots of little gourmet variations that change from day to day.

The idea of ​​pleasure is obviously very important to detach from everyday life, but, like every little twist, everything is a matter of moderation. In terms of food, holidays are above all else a way to approach cooking in a different way. We have time to prepare the meal, try new flavours, and introduce the kids to dishes they are not used to. Why not let them taste, say, the local delicacies where they are?

It is also a chance to cook with them, a family activity and full of learning for the little ones. As for mealtime, even if we allow ourselves some flexibility, it should be set at the beginning of the holidays and not vary much. In addition to its importance in the biological rhythm of the child, it also ensures that the moment is shared with the family.

Holiday notebooks are not necessary

Vacations stop school education. The opportunity to give the child time to reconnect with his surroundings. Notebooks during this period are not necessary.

However, another more fun but equally important learning can be experienced. Picnics to the museum, discovering new environments, creative activities…there are plenty of ways to make these two months go by in the blink of an eye for kids, while keeping their attention awake. But it should be done away from all stress and pressure.

Three questions for Elena Gottard, parenting coach

“Don’t be afraid of child’s boredom”

Why are holidays important for a child?

Like us, kids have very busy schedules during the year, between school, extracurricular activities, trips…even if weekends are there to help them recover, vacations are a real break and a public release during which they can reflect on the present moment. It does a lot of good to the body, and there is recovery on all levels – physiological, emotional and mental. The child regains the resources needed to catch the new year or the new semester.

Some parents fear that their children will get bored during the holidays, because they are no longer doing their activities as usual …

We are very concerned about that because we are in a society where efficiency is sought. When you’re a parent, sometimes you want your child to learn all the time. This is to forget that when the brain is overburdened, it is less efficient, and this affects learning. When we are tired, we understand less, and memorize less. If we try to occupy the child constantly, we deprive him of the rest he needs. In general, children manage to occupy themselves on their own, if they are given time. There are bound to be moments of boredom, but you have to be totally comfortable with that, even if he’s whining a little because he doesn’t know what to do. You really have to trust your ability to take care of yourself.

The mind of children, like the mind of adults, does not like emptiness; After a moment of boredom, the child will rely on his resources by stimulating creativity and imagination. Do not be afraid of boredom, on the contrary, it is one of the biggest benefits of vacation. It is also an opportunity to do activities with your children and small moments of complicity and connection, which can be missed on a daily basis. If he really cannot take care of himself, we can also make up a small list of weekly activities with him, leaving him, for example, a little hour where he does nothing. Obviously, it’s important to pay attention to the screens. Even if we could just be a little more flexible because it’s the holidays, it shouldn’t get spontaneous when he’s bored.

Should we keep a rhythm in school learning thanks to holiday notebooks, for example?

For me, vacations are vacations. The goal is not to continue school learning. The child needs such a break, so that he does not have to think about anything. This helps him to resume work faster the following year. For holiday notebooks, if kids are in demand because it makes them active – in general, these notebooks are so much fun – why not? However, it is necessary to put a minimum framework on it in order to know how to manage the effect of “modernity” and not end up with four or five notebooks that have barely started at the end of the summer. However, it can be interesting to take advantage of the holidays when your child is having a hard time in school. We can help him review some of the basics, without any particular stress, but in a fun way. Fractions when playing Lego, for example…

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