Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 01:24 pm

While a holiday does call for a little flexibility, sticking to nap times, meals and bedtimes are crucial!

When it comes to parenting, ‘routine is king’… and, creating a flexible, age-appropriate routine is a must for a happy child!

Having said that, our well-established routines are one of the first things to fly out the window, come the start of the school holidays. Naps are forfeited, meal times are all over the place and bedtime becomes a thing of the past!

As a result, moms struggle with tears, tantrums and defiant behaviour.

Since routine helps children make sense of their world (thus eliminating power struggles and reducing anxiety and stress) it’s super important to maintain one – even during the school holiday and festive season.

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Here are three ways to do just that:

1. Nap times, meals and bedtimes are crucial!

While holiday does call for a little flexibility; sticking to nap times, meals and bedtimes are crucial!

Not only does a bedtime routine (and quality one-on-one time with mom) help to calm children down; but reading a story, singing a lullaby and reflecting on the day’s activities helps to enhance memory, vocab and language skills!

Likewise, encouraging proper mealtimes and nap times will bring a sense of order and calmness to your day: Your child will know what to expect and when. Furthermore, he or she will also be well-rested and have a full tummy (two essentials for a happy child).

2. Pre-empt changes in the routine

Just like you would at home, alert your child as to what comes next.

Children tend to co-operate better when they’re kept ‘in the loop’. So, letting them know that they have 10 minutes left to swim should result in far less of a protest, than if you were to yank them out the swimming pool or sea without warning.

3. Try to maintain a sense of balance

It’s normal for children to want to sleep late, spend all their time on electronic devices and indulge in one too many sugary treats… after all, it is holiday!

But, while ‘letting go’ is necessary to some degree, a sense of balance should still be maintained.

Allow screen time, sleeping in and sugary treats, for sure – but, with balance and moderation in mind.