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School Holidays By Rosie Lunn

Hi, I’m Rosie, I therapeutically parent my two adopted brothers, alongside my Mum. Although I don’t always get things right, we have seen a huge improvement in our home since using Therapeutic Parenting and so I am sharing some stories from our life.

School Holidays

School holidays can be hard, the change of routine can be unsettling for the children and spending all day managing intense behaviours can be exhausting for the parents. My boys do a bit better without the transition to and from school each day. However, last Christmas holidays our 9 year old did scream for the first three hours, so there is definitely a bit of a struggle. A few things we have learnt over the years that work for us are

1) Keeping a routine- it might seem like a nice idea to have lots of freedom, but this is much harder for the children, they feel out of control and don’t know what to expect which makes them panic and so we see an increase in behaviour. In the holidays, we keep the morning and bedtime routine the same as a school day to increase the familiarity.

2) Timetable- we create a timetable for the week and put it where the boys can easily see it. When they were younger, we would draw it out and they could colour it, but as they’re a bit older now and can read more, we can just write it. This helps also to reduce the worry of the unknown and help the boys to feel prepared and safer about what is happening.

3) Manage your own expectations- if your child struggles with something, for example, spending time with other people in large groups, accept this and limit it. Still do activities that you want to do, but maybe only once or twice in the week rather than every day.

4) Do what works- this sounds obvious, but it can be easy to forget if the routine is changing or feeling pressured by other people to do things differently. If your child thrives best with lots of time outside, plan this in. If your child feels best at home in their safe space with their favourite toys, be sure to make time for this.

5) Don’t feel pressure from others- it can be easy to compare your holiday to other peoples, especially on social media or when talking to friends, they may be very well meaning and invite you to lots of events that will be difficult for your child. Just

remember you and your child are on a different journey and that’s ok! It’s ok if your child needed simple low key things this week. Also remember most people are not living the life they put on social media- they may not have the same challenges we face as therapeutic parents, but no one has a perfect parenting experience!

6) Self-care- it can be hard to find much time to yourself when the children aren’t at school but do try to find some small snippets, even if just having a cup of tea or bar of chocolate once they are in bed. Then do book something for yourself once the children are back to school- a nice lunch out is my personal favourite!

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