Practical strategies for the holidays
Some children struggle with anxiety in transitioning from school term to school holidays. Â This week I observed a 7 year old come out of school on his last day before the holidays. He was almost hyperventilating. His mother asked, “___ what’s the matter?”. “I don’t want to cry!”. Â It came out that he loved school so much that he was upset of the thought of not coming back next week… Â Anxiety and change of routine impact on kids differently. Here’s some tips:
1. Remind your child of any special events coming up on the school holidays if they are struggling.
2. Draw up a routine board for the holidays using pictures and the word under if they are older.
3. Get your child to help draw or colour in the pictures for each activity.
4. Don’t forget to include the first week back at school to assist in the transition back to school.
5. Keep this fun and keep smiling. Â Kids really pick up on our mood and attitude.
- Â Holidays are great opportunities to hang out with your kids. Â Ask them what they would like to do. Â They will most often ask for activities that include time with you and low cost. All they really want is to know that you love and care for them.
- Have a “tell mum/dad where to go day”. Now the intent here is a positive one! Have a morning, even 2 hours where your children get to plan the day, or even just decided on impulse what they want to do. Deb did this recently and it was amazing where she ended up! (Including our local tip shop to get a cheap toy!) If you want, include a small budget for the morning to include any drinks/ morning tea out and work on those budgeting/ money skills at the same time. Â Deb ended up at the beach, the tip shop, morning tea out and the park. You might be surprised what memories your kids have of doing something in the past that they want to relive!
- Create a large planner on scrap paper or the side of a big box. Have a challenge that the kids need to do, record an activity that involves sensory play and draw a picture of it. Â Or, Deb’s kids love getting scrap paper and stapling down the side to make a booklet. Â Create a book to record every day of the school holidays that they can take for show and tell or news when they go back to school!
Below is an example calendar and a testimonial from a Mum who took advantage of the calendar.
‘Just a short email to say many thanks for the calendar template and idea! Attached is the one I have created for my 11 yr old son with ASD. Thanks again for getting me into action with this. I am sure many other families will also find it most useful.’ Click here to view sample