At the time of writing this post – our kids have been with us for 19 months and this is only our 3rd ‘school’ holiday break….. so we’ve got a lot to learn!!

I hope we’re not alone here in this, but for us, Bank Holidays/School Holidays often lead to HORRIBLE weeks.  Whilst I longingly watch other family’s looking forward to and planning their holidays together, I find myself fretting.  The complete change in routine for our two leads to regressive behaviour.  We have lots of screaming fits (something I keep hoping we’ve moved on from), lying (my eldest really cannot ‘own’ bad behaviour) and complete general disruption and self-destructive behaviour.

The last bank holiday/school holiday – we immediately went away.  Whilst the first day was full of angst (“Mummy, we are going home right”, “we’re not moving here are we mummy”) and tantrums,  once we started to have fun on the rides and activities, they quickly got over their angst and by the time we got home – they were so relaxed we actually enjoyed the remainder of the week.

This time round (Easter and a full two weeks ahead of us) we had decided a ‘wind’ down week would be in order and then half way through we’d have a trip away before coming home again.  BIG MISTAKE on our part.  The first week was horrendous.  Lots of screaming fits, temper tantrums, regressive behaviour (grabbing, crying/tantrum’ing etc.  for no reason).   By the time we did go away – we were all quite tense and to be honest didn’t enjoy it as much as we had hoped, so much so we curtailed the trip and came home early (rather than continuing to allow them to act so badly that it would warrant ‘consequences’).  By the time we got home the kids were emotionally exhausted.  They both slept for 14 hours that night, so they really had worn themselves out.

We did have a few pleasant days after this, but overall the feeling was this Bank Holiday week wasn’t great and it’s not something we’re looking to repeat.

So what have we learned – no matter what, the disruption/change in routine will knock our two for six.  A complete break/change to routine helps. Taking them out of our home environment helps them release that angst quicker.  I know we’re not always going to be able to dash off on holidays – but I think in future activity days will be first, followed by chill out home days later.  My hubby and I have learned we need to be EVEN more flexible (but still with firm boundaries – grabbing, screaming etc. are still not tolerated) and let things go a bit more than usual.