Posts Tagged ‘routine’

January – doldrums? extra struggles?

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

No matter how you slContemplative womanice it, January always seems to be a tough month for people. After the holidays, it is hard to get back into the old routine. Somehow, the leftover cookies and sweets still linger, making it extra hard to get back on track.

Getting back in the swing of things is hard for parents. If this is how you have been feeling, you are far from alone.

But, if you are struggling, imagine how lost your child with special needs may be feeling! Getting your child to transition back to his “old normal” is easier said than done. If your child is experiencing a slight backward step, you might want to read these posts: Adjusting to life after the holidays gives tips on surviving “re-entry” as I call it, and this post includes suggestions on how you can help your child adjust back to your old routine.

Note:  The mini-series on Delays and Disabilities has lots of info to help you if you have a child with special needs. Please feel free to comment and make suggestions.


Getting back in the swing

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

unhappy childThe Thanksgiving holiday is behind us. Be honest now…how many of you are still having a bit of trouble trying to get back to your old routine? I know I loved having a few unstructured days of sleeping late, eating rich foods (mashed potatoes, gravy, yams and stuffing to name a few), and of course eating desserts. At my house we had apple pie with vanilla ice cream, and a double chocolate layer cake for anyone who was not an apple pie fan. OR, for most of us…we ate both (and loved every morsel)!

Now is the time when settling back to your old routine seems incredibly hard. Have you had trouble falling asleep, or worse- getting up, this week? Are you craving sweets during the day? Do you just seem to be feeling out of sync? Sluggish? (I think I have described myself pretty well, I’m afraid to say. How about you?)

Returning to your prior routine after a holiday is hard for most people. But it is especially hard for a child with special needs. Straying too far off from the usual foods, bedtimes, and daily routine can wreak havoc on your child’s system causing him to feel lost or a bit out of control. Due to his special needs, it may take longer to get back on track again, too. So, if YOU are feeling a bit out of sync this week, your little one is feeling worse, and will probably take longer to return to his prior usual routine.

Have patience and look for the bright side

I call getting back to your prior routine “re-entry” because it can really feel like a jolt to your system. In one of my prior posts, I wrote about the post-holidays adjustment period, and how the change in routine can cause a temporary step backward for your child. You need to be aware that this can happen, and gently try to get your child back on track.

For other children, the holidays can bring about a surge in new connections, making your little one gain language skills or venture to do new things. So, be on the lookout for new behaviors or positive gains.

Remember, if you are having trouble getting back to your prior “normal,” your child is probably experiencing the same feelings. Lots of praise and positive reinforcement for little steps, along with a boat-load of patience will soon get you all rolling again.

Check out these blog posts to find other coping strategies, such as creating your child’s personal “memory” or “transition” booklets, or re-adjusting to life after a vacation. If you have a technique of your own that works for your child, please share it!

Note: This post is part of the weekly series Delays and disabilities – How to get help for your child. It was started in January 2013 and appears every Wednesday. While on News Moms Need, select “Help for your child” on the menu on the right side to view all of the blog posts to date. You can also view a Table of Contents of prior posts.

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Sticking to your kids’ routine during trying times

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Whether you’re evacuating your home due to an oncoming hurricane or you’re visiting relatives during holiday hubbub, your children will manage the stress that accompanies change much better if you manage to stick to some of your normal routines.  Little things that you do everyday can have a reassuring, soothing effect, so make sure you pack your bags with that in mind.  Don’t forget a favorite blanket or stuffed toy, binkie, truck or tee shirt.
Try to eat meals at about the normal time you always do.  If a meal isn’t possible, make sure you have at least a snack.  When it’s naptime, try to find a quiet place to curl up with your little guy. Do you read a story to your children before bed?  Then make sure you take a couple of favorite books with you when you leave home.  Remember to brush teeth before bed, sing a favorite song, play a favorite game and cuddle when they need it.

The stress of being a single parent

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Having been a single parent for a number of years, I can say with some authority that it’s hard, I mean really hard. But it’s also great. I have a closeness with my kids that I might never have had otherwise. But back to hard… Whether you are a single parent by choice, divorce, or your spouse is in the military on the other side of the planet, it’s a very tough job.

Day-to-day responsibilities are relentless. All decisions are made by you alone, often with nobody with whom to even bounce around ideas. And when the kids get a little older, they become experts at pushing your buttons with style. Here are some tips for dealing with trying times:

  • Continue to take good care of yourself, eating as well as you did during pregnancy, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough rest and physical exercise
  • Ask for and accept help from family members and friends. It makes them feel good, too.
  • Avoid cabin fever by getting out of the house each day, even if just for a walk.
  • Set clear boundaries with relatives and children. Be flexible, but loosey goosey all the time gets confusing and tires you out. You’re the parent, you set the rules.
  • Stick to a schedule when you can. Even babies benefit from a regular routine. Eating and sleeping times will change a lot during the first year and adapting to the baby’s schedule will make life easier for you both. Bedtime can be a fun and cuddly time for you both, but when it’s time for the lights to go out, stick to your guns – you’ll both benefit from the sleep and down time.
  • Keep up your friendships and outside activities. Get a parent or sitter to watch the baby one night a week, or take the baby with you to a friend’s house for dinner or meet for lunch.
  • Carve out a little time each day just for you, even if it’s just ten minutes. Read a book, find a quiet place to listen to your favorite music or relax in a bubble bath by candle light. Ahhhhhhh.
  • Accept a little clutter. For those of us who are neatniks, this may take some practice. But the fact of the matter is getting enough rest and spending quality time with your children is more important than a spotless home right now.
  • Talk about your feelings (including sadness, frustration and anger) with someone you trust. You can join a local or on-line support group for parents, too.
  • Make friends with other parents (did you keep in touch with the women you met in your childbirth education classes?).

What other suggestions do you have?