Should your child follow a routine even during summer vacation?

Should you let your child sleep in or stick to a bedtime routine during summer vacation?

For a parent whose child is set to start school in the next academic year, the most daunting task is setting the routine for the child. Especially if the child's school starts in the morning. I am in that situation currently and was wondering if the summer vacation before the start of the school year is a good time to set the routine. And I am sure, all parents feel that way, even those with school-going kids. Summer vacation can throw the previous school-going routine completely off-track. With more free time, playing hours that extend beyond the usual deadline, late bedtime and even later wake-up time can cause problem once school restarts. So as a parent, how do you ensure that your children still follow a healthy routine, without compromising on the vacation feeling? Real parents share tips on how they make sure their kids' routine doesn't go so off-track that it causes problem later on.

  • Stick to a particular bedtime: Summer vacation is the time for children to chill, play, sleep, eat and do whatever they want to. It shouldn't be like a school night where they have to follow a set routine. However, if your child's usual bedtime is, say, 9 pm, and she has started sleeping way past midnight during the vacation, it will cause problem once school reopens. So what you can do is relax the bedtime deadline by half an hour, so that falling back in the usual routine is not difficult later.
  • Same applies to meal, bath and other routines: School or no school, your child needs to follow a healthy lifestyle regardless. It applies to mealtimes, snacks, how much TV your child watches, etc. Just because it is vacation doesn't mean that your child spends hours and hours glued to the TV. Encourage your child to spend more time playing and being outdoors, so that she burns up her energy, which will help her sleep on time.

Following a routine does not necessarily have to mean boring. You can spend hours lazing on the bed after waking up since there's no school. You can get your child to help you make breakfast, or drive down to her favourite breakfast place.

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