How to Help Your Child Manage Spring Fever
Keep the Routine
A. Sleep: Spring is all about adventure, but kids still need structure to stay on track in school and at home and in therapies. And time change will throw anybody off course. Sleep is crucial for any of us to function at our best and the changing weather and new blooming things awaken all the dormant allergies, which means we all need our immune system at peak performance. If you need to, buy some blackout shades to keep bedtime regular and stick to the clock rather than the new lighter nights outside.
B. School: Make sure you set aside certain hours in the day for homework. Now that the weather is nicer, consider shifting the times. Maybe after dinner is a better time to focus than afternoon when the playground beckons. Whatever you choose, just let your child know the new plan and that it will be consistent.
C. Downtime: It’s easy to fill up the calendar quickly with playdates and zoo trips and weekends away now that you don’t have to bundle everybody up in a thousand layers and be home by 4:30 before darkness sets in. But kids still need rest. They need protected time to read, relax, play video games, nap—do whatever it takes to unwind. Make sure you plan for the downtime too.
Set Some Goals
January may be the great goal-setting month, but it can’t compete with the energy of spring. This is a great time to help your child set some goals for the next year or even just from now until summer. Help them decide what they want to achieve in school, in therapy, and at home. Write down specific actionable goals. These don’t have to be big. In fact, the smaller the better because they promise positive feedback. Maybe they want to pull that C+ up to a B- in Spanish. Maybe they want to try one new food a month. Maybe they want to clean off that one bookshelf in their room to make space for something new. Whatever it is, it’s an easy way to use some of that natural energy and endorphin boost of Spring to build their self-confidence and keep them working towards a goal.
Spring Fever doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be the impetus for change that your children (and you) need to keep going strong into summer. There’s nothing wrong with a little extra “oomph” in these longer and warmer days.
Jamie Sumner is a writer and author of the website, The Mom Gene (mom-gene.com) and the mother to a son with cerebral palsy and twins.
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