Reaching Into a New Season
It feels like the arrival of March brings with it the exhale of winter and the promise of new life. The hope of a new season is just starting to become evident in the world around us: the green tulip and daffodil buds pushing through the earth; the warmth of sunshine on your skin; the longer, lighter days. It feels like the world turns from black and white to colour when spring arrives.
And with Spring Break right around the corner, comes a natural time for children to take a breath and reset their systems in order to be able to reach for more when they return to school.
Here are 5 ideas that might help your family reach for Spring Break success:
- Move and play outside. Spending time in the fresh air and sunlight everyday is a great way for families to connect and create healthy habits together. Take your dog for a walk, go for a bike ride, play a game of soccer at a nearby playground, skip rocks in the lake or a creek, or do some spring cleaning in your yard together. Being outside is good for you chid’s health! Learn more in this article from Parenting Science.
- Practice a quiet time ritual. This week, a photo crossed my social media news feed of a Dad who ever-so-creatively instructed his crew of kids to paint a portrait of him…while he napped on the couch! While this might be a bit of a dubious way to get a mid-day siesta in, incorporating a daily rest/quiet time is a great practice to instill in your family’s culture. It might look like reading books, taking a nap, having 30 minutes of quiet play in your rooms. And, don’t forget Take a Breath’s ‘5 Days of B.R.A.V.E.’ recordings that were just released to all school families by email this week. They are a great resource for a mid-day rest and reset.
- Unplug to connect. We’ve all heard it a million times. The research is solid. Too much screen time has a tremendously negative impact on our children’s development and wellbeing. Yet, children are spending more time than ever glued to their screens. Terrified of poking your screen-addicted bear? Check out this article from Today’s Parent for ideas on how to limit screen time for your children.
- Design fun things together! This week, my son asked me what we would be doing for our week together at Spring Break. Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about it yet. And so I told him to start thinking about it and, along with his siblings, we would make a plan so that we could all feel like we’ve maximized our time together. While it might be many opinions at the table, I enjoy giving space for my kids to help me own the design of our down days. It helps them feel a sense of ownership, while going through the process of compromising with others.
- Reflect and find gratitude. Our school breaks fall right at the end of term. This is a great time to pause, reflect, and appreciate the highs and lows of the past season. What was the big win? Where did you see improvement? What still feels hard? What do you want to try next? How are you growing as a parent? One of my favourite Learn Forward blog posts from this year offers ways to reflect on your parenting style. Find celebration and gratitude in all of these things – they are signs of growth and learning!
What would you add or take away as your family recipe for Spring Break success?
As your family reaches into spring and enjoys a break from school, we wish you time together that nourishes your connection.
Building Community Together,
Heather Sandager, Community Developer