Welcome to Week 4 of the Holiday Edition of the Super Sunday Series. We've talked about sleep, nutrition and transitions this month. Today, we close out the Holiday Series with the importance of routines.
For any child, a predictable, consistent routine is paramount to their success as a contributing member of your family. The importance is raised, however, for the gifted child. A gifted child needs the consistency of a routine like a person on the beach needs sunscreen (get it? Shameless reference to our current location). In other words, it's pretty important for long term health. Without it, you won't die (likely), but everyone will be much more comfortable and happy when it's provided (the sunscreen AND the routine, that is).
Sticking close to a routine during the holidays is important (and a challenge!). Just as important, however, is the transition from “laid back holiday routine” to “back to school routine.”
During the holiday season, try to keep mealtimes, snack times, rest times and bedtimes as close to the norm as possible. Right now, with most two week breaks at the blissful halfway point, it may be tempting to just go with the flow of wherever time off takes you. Or you may be so overscheduled with holiday happenings, that you feel like you can’t keep up with the normal routine. To deviate from it significantly would do a disservice to both you and your gifted child(ren). All children, and especially gifted children, crave the structure, the knowledge of a routine. They like knowing what’s coming next. To take that away from them can sometimes spell disaster (it actually always spells disaster in our house).
The closer you stick to the routine, the more easily you will transition everyone back to “normal” when back to school comes. Holiday time isn't like summer, where you can spend several weeks with late bedtimes and late wake times (if you're lucky!). It's a short enough amount of time that sticking as close as possible to your normal schedule is your best bet.
Finally, remind your children about the routine and what it means to get back into it as the holiday break comes to an end. You may not get back into the swing of things without a few bumps, but the more knowledge you arm your gifted person with, the more likely they are to handle the changes.
They’re smart that way. ;)
One more thing (added on location due to its timeliness). Just last night, the 26th, mind you, with 9 days until school is back in session, Oldest had some moments (sobbing, actually) over her worry about getting back into the school routine, how hard it was going to be and how it is so close, how can she get ready for it? We shared some tears and started the "this is what happens when you go back" talk. So sometimes your gifted ones need that "back to routine" talk sooner than you may think. Be ready for it. Youngest? She's just going to bed every night saying "tomorrow's my school day, right?" Gotta love the age of two.
P.S. Don't know what's up with the font, I'll get 'er fixed when we get back. :)