In the weeks leading up to the winter vacation, many teachers and families notice a sudden shift in classroom and home behavior. Children are forgetting to follow classroom rules, the noise level is higher and academic productivity seems to decline.
It is not uncommon for children to seem more fidgety, giggly, testy and tired between November through January. Some reasons for this change can be exciting home activities or an increase in stress at home, school assemblies, plays, or special events. One major change that we at Burke Therapy notice is the impact that curtailed recess schedules has on a child’s ability to stay on track and remain regulated throughout the day.
Here are a few tips and strategies that you can easily do to help your child or student stay on track and lean at their best during the holiday season.
1) Stick to Routine - As much as possible, stick to the routine that you've established before and after school.
2) Look for opportunities to remark on and celebrate success - Use reinforcing positive language to commend behavior you actually see, not behavior you hope to see. (i.e. "Thank you for waiting."; "I see that you are sitting quietly and waiting your turn.")
3) When behaviors start to go off track, review behavioral expectation. Appreciate the extra energy your child may have during the holidays and anticipate that they may need to expend some of that energy.
With just a few simple adjustments, you can keep the learning going while helping your child met challenges or enjoy the fun of the season.