Transitioning is frequently difficult. Perhaps that’s why Mondays are rarely anyone’s favorite day of the week. Transitioning from the fun and relaxing pace of the weekend to the structured and demanding work of the week doesn’t always go seamlessly.
So on Mondays we take it a little easier around here. I have set chores I try to do each day of the week. But Monday’s chores are light compared to the rest of the week. It gives us a chance to ease back into our routine. I know one Mom who declares Monday “pajama day.” They still follow their basic weekday schedule but it’s a little easier because everyone gets to stay in their pj’s.
Transitioning can be even harder for kids. My daughter has a particularly hard time transitioning from nap time. She is perfectly pleasant when she wakes up in the morning but tends to be grumpy after her nap (she gets this from her mama who rarely takes a nap for this very reason). But since I instituted (nearly) daily smoothies after nap time, the transition is going much more smoothly.
When it comes to small children here are some transitioning tricks I’ve learned.
1. Give them a heads up (and stick to it)
When you’re about to leave the park or ask your child to put away her toys, give her a two minute warning. We, as adults, wouldn’t like it if we were engrossed in an activity and were expected to immediately cease upon command, so let’s not demand that of our kids.
The key is to stick to it when you give a two minute warning. The other day, we were talking with some friends and told our daughter we were going to leave in two minutes. Well, we kept talking so two minutes turned into twenty. This is not an ideal way to transition your child or give them a proper sense of time.
2. Have a distraction ready
Smoothies are a fun and healthy distraction from the grumpiness after nap time. A favorite book or toy waiting in the car seat may help your child transition from a play date. A fun song during hand washing time can provide incentive to drop the toys and get ready for dinner.
3. Work from a routine
Our daughter knows that before she can eat she needs to wash her hands. And that after lunch it’s nap time. And that brushing her teeth gets the bedtime routine rolling. Having a flexible routine in place helps kids know what comes next and smooths out transitions.
What transition tricks do you have up your sleeve?