Any teacher can tell you: Students become "wiggy" in the days before a holiday or break from school. Parents will relate as they also experience increased melt-downs, wild and demanding behavior, and even rudeness from normally sweet-acting children.
I had to give myself a "time out" this morning as I became frustrated with the loud demands of the students as I tried to cram in one more amazing science experiment before lunch time. I simply shut the book I was trying to read and quietly left the room for a few moments. As I gave myself time to think and to give myself a figurative thunk on the side of my head (D'oh!), I realized that of course I SHOULD have simplified today's schedule. Why didn't I build in more time for the children to simply relax and read, or draw and tell stories to each other?
Why this time of year? Studies show that children are extremely sensitive to change and stress - and even when we think that they are unaware of the stresses around them, children do know when the adults are feeling frazzled. So my advice to all of us is this - let's give ourselves a break and demonstrate taking time to relax.
Over the next couple weeks, I'm wishing for all of you to:
* Say NO to things so as not to overschedule yourself (or your kids!)
* Schedule downtime for everyone
* Keep sleep and meal schedules the same whenever possible - sleep and eat well
* Be present
* Ask for help
* Take walks - a great way to connect peacefully with your children
And take a time-out when you need it. Sometimes it is the best lesson you can give to your children. Sending you all loving and peaceful thoughts ... BREATHE.