Discipline after vacation time
You are back from vacation after taking some time off to recharge your batteries. Both you and the children in your group are rested and calm…or completely wiped out after trying to fit everything you wanted to do into a few weeks of vacation time! Both scenarios are possible. Whether you like it or not, it’s time to get back into your regular routine.
Returning to daycare after some time off can sometimes feel like you’re back at square one, as if you’ve just slid down the longest snake in a game of snakes & ladders. In terms of discipline, the fact that there may have been less rules enforced and since the regular routine was probably far from respected during your time off may leave you feeling as if you must start all over again. Let me reassure you. This is perfectly normal. Let me also say that all is not lost.
For certain discipline-related aspects, you may need to reinforce the basics. This is simply because, for a few weeks, the children in your group spent more time at home, with their parents. They will need time to adapt to their familiar routine once again. Some may act out, but many will be happy to return to their comforting routine. In fact, many children may have missed it dearly during their vacation time. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition back for everyone.
- Slowly ease into your routine, your regular activities. There is no need to rush back to enforcing all your rules and days filled with scheduled activities. Instead, opt for a progressive return and gradually increase the number of activities offered during the day. You will be amazed to see how naturally you can return to your regular rhythm.
- Along the same line, aim to prolong the “vacation feeling” just a little. Schedule fewer planned activities, organize picnic lunches at the playground, integrate water games, etc. This will help you continue to enjoy summer.
- Remind children of your basic daycare principles: rules, main routines, responsibilities, your expectations, etc. Just like you, children may need a few more reminders during the first days back.
- Be patient and lenient. Know that you may face a few more reactions and outbursts during the first few days back at daycare. Things will fall into place very quickly.
In conclusion, I hope that you enjoyed your summer vacation and are happy to be back at work. Summer is the perfect time to set your regular routine aside, even if we all know that it plays an important role. A rested early childhood educator will easily transfer her joy and passion to the children she cares for.