Here in New England, for many students it is February break from school. For me, I fully understand the emotional “letdown” of having some time off. And by letdown, I mean the total relaxation that can happen. My wife is a teacher here in the greater metro-Boston area, and I witness first-hand what happens during these brief breaks from school:
- Schedules can be thrown out the window
- Lots of things to be done (waiting to be done)
- Competing attention for wants, needs, and desires
- Lingering time
- And so much more…
There is something to be said about sticking to a schedule. After all, they provide a framework for getting things done, expecting what will happen, and being able to turn to some “known quantity” when things turn to a struggle.
Yet, at the same time I tell parents to stick to a schedule, there are also incredibly important reasons to throw that schedule out the window.
Breaks from school are in some ways meant to be a break from the same old routine that can make any child or family feel suffocated or mundane.
Now, I’ll apply the standard – individual clause – in this case. And by that I mean, who sticks to a schedule, when they stick to it, and how closely they stick to it will differ from family to family and child to child. There is no standard advice for what you should be doing. Just know that children with ADHD benefit from structure and famililiarty.
I am sharing all of this because it is incredibly important to keep in mind that life should be fun, free, and spontaneous (at times). Children want to do fun things, and believe it or not, they want to do fun things with their parents.
They might not always admit it, and they might even play hard to get…but deep down inside they’ll be happy to do something fun. But here’s the catch… The fun has to be something they want to do.
So this week, if things get a little overwhelming or you are stuck on how to spend the time – do something unexpected with your child. Let them pick the activity, and then you should get involved in it.
Let go of exepctations and just have some fun.