Winter Slump

Is your child having a difficult time getting excited to go to school?
Is he or she showing old behaviors that you thought had been extinguished?

We can say with 15 years of teaching experience that winter is truly the hardest season for parents and students. Students have new toys at home, home is warm and cozy, school has become a routine and the “honeymoon phase” has ended. Morning rituals are taking longer than usual, parents are tired and sick, kids are tired and sick, etc. Winters are hard.

Children, like all living creatures, have cycles of growth and development seasonally. Your child may be demonstrating behaviors that seem regressive as he or she quietly builds a new skill set or begins a growth spurt. Very normal stuff.

To hopefully help you build a bit of anticipation in your child, and ward off the worst of “winter slump”, we recommend the following:

1. Create a picture calendar that walks your child through his or her week. This gives your child a greater sense of stability and control. Have your child help you make this simple calendar and talk about the different activities of the week.

2. School and play are the work of the child. While “having fun” is a part of school, so is learning. Talk with your child about what he or she might want to contribute to the daily Meeting conversation–what are his or her learning interests? How can we explore and expand those interests in the classroom as a group? If your child lacks words, write a small note and send it along to be shared in class.

3. Make sure your child is eating and sleeping as regularly as possible. Adjust the light in his or her room to work with the seasonal light changes. Remind your child that their new toys will be waiting for them just as they left them when they return home–and talk with him or her about who they love to be with at school, what they love to think about or interact with, and what they want to say first thing to their teachers upon arrival.

Thank you for your help and support in these areas. Let’s all plan to work together to make seasonal changes a little more smooth–and a lot less slumpy!