Post-holiday Syndrome in Children: How to Help

Post-holiday syndrome is a child's emotional response to going back to school with everything it involves. Making good use of their summertime can reduce their anxiety. Learn more here!
Post-holiday Syndrome in Children: How to Help

Last update: 19 August, 2021

Post-holiday syndrome in children is a transitory mood that affects adaptation to routines, including school life. It might seem natural after a splendid and fun vacation. However, it only occurs in less than 8% of children.

The expectation of getting up early to go to school after spending hours doing what they love most is frightening. The truth is that children and their enormous capacity for adaptation manage to overcome the obstacle without major problems.

However, it never hurts to give them a hand.

The causes of post-holiday syndrome

If children reject the imposition of routines at first, a large part of the responsibility falls on the parents. They’re the fundamental actors in the control of the elements that make up the family’s daily life.

Some of this boils down to the child’s personality. Another corresponds to the structure of the family, the style of the parents, school conflicts, health problems or bullying, as well as stress factors. Adults must be attentive to rule out some of these signs, given the difficulty of children to explain what’s happening to them.

How to help a child overcome post-holiday syndrome

As in many other conflictive situations, communication is the key to find a solution. Breaking the silence, ostracism, and breaking through the wall of bad moods and anxiety is a great way to relieves tensions. However, getting there isn’t easy.

Before the signs of post-holiday syndrome in children (if, for instance, they show irritation and serious refusal to practice the routine regime), let’s not force them or reproach them. Instead, let’s become co-participants in the responsibilities that are coming in the new school period. This is even more necessary if they’ve changed schools recently.

A stressed child
The signs of post-holiday syndrome aren’t always obvious. Adults must learn to detect it.

Finding the causes

Finding the factors that are causing the disorder is a first step on the road to overcoming post-holiday syndrome in children. Review the schedules of rest, play, and responsibilities, and act in case they overlap.

If you don’t notice any major setbacks are when reviewing the interior of the family, perhaps the cause is external.

Children may have difficulty reaching the words if they affect them personally. It’s up to us to ask questions about classmates and teachers, about the day at school, to make them represent or draw school scenes. Any mechanism of expression is valid.

Spent time with them to help resolve post-holiday syndrome

During the vacation, adults often have spent most of their time with the children. Thus, the separation that the end of the vacation brings may not be well received.

Finding a way to accompany them, to take them to school and stay for a while and say goodbye are ways to help. This way, transitions aren’t so abrupt.

Provide confidence and security

Parents have a perspective on problems that are colored by experience. Children who feel unprotected assume that the unpleasant situation is a total dead end.

You must find a way to solve the problem together.

Know the environment to prevent post-holiday stress syndrome

Parents should pay attention to the environment in which they move and with which children interact. This works for the surroundings and beyond the home, which includes neighbors, friends, and school.

Adults should visit the school frequently and should seek to establish conversations with management, teachers, and caregivers. From these talks, parents can deduce the quality of their children’s environments.

Adults should try to get to the bottom of relationships that may affect children. It’s not about overprotection, but about knowing and recognizing that safety and trust at school is a social and collective construction.

How to prevent post-holiday syndrome in children

One strategy to help prevent post-holiday syndrome in children is to plan ahead. School calendars are set in advance; let’s take advantage of this so that the agenda includes delays and unforeseen events. Adjust to it with the enthusiasm to save time.

A series of actions that have to do with the autonomous and personal management of schedules are proposed below. However, they must be adjusted to tastes and needs, as well as to work and social obligations.

Preparing school supplies with your child

Parents can incorporate the children in the task of organizing their school supplies well in advance. The smell of paper and the bright colors of inks and stickers are always exciting. Preparing the backpack and rectifying it’s a routine beforehand that can induce the best wishes.

A picture of a schoolbag
Preparing the school bag is one way to slowly adjust to the new term ahead.

Don’t do anything abruptly

Children don’t tolerate sudden changes very well. If they’ve been sleeping late, going back to school early is traumatic. In advance, you can adjust the hands of the clock and bring bedtime earlier and earlier.

Preparation also encompasses topics and assignments. Refreshing concepts and skimming their textoots prepare the children’s impulse to school.

Communicating good spirits

If worries and stress are contagious, so are good spirits. Life is complicated, but we must protect our children.

this is all about understanding that the emotional intelligence of the family is established based on alliances and support networks that facilitate their development.

The unity of the home bases its success on the fluidity of communications that embrace and celebrate transitions, changes, and the overcoming of stages. In addition, the child needs to feel part of it, integrated and recognized.

Planning is designing freedom

Adults have to help organize children’s days.

Otherwise, unnecessary rushing will introduce discomfort factors into children’s lives. For example, haste denotes immaturity and is a stress trigger that radiates from adults to children. Similarly, procrastinating accumulate tasks that sooner rather than later will lead to despair.

However, if there’s good organization, parents will have plans and routines that include fun and recreation.

Children need fun as much as they need oxygen. Post-holiday syndrome is nothing more than a symptom of the feeling that they’re about to lose freedom.

It’s essential to schedule outings, fun time, and play dates for them. Remember: going back to school can and should be exciting!

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