It’s getting close to the start of Term 4. How fast has everything seemed to of gone this year? Sometimes it’s overwhelming how fast time seems to pass. Especially towards the end of the year. We suddenly find we have all these birthday parties, family events, holiday parties, end of year celebrations and more we would like to attend!
As we approach our return to Gymnastics and to school, let’s take a breathe and prepare ourselves for the return to consistency and routines in our day to day life.
Routines are important to children and their development, as it allows for predictability in their lives. In turn this helps them to feel secure, safe and significantly less anxious. Routines either daily, or weekly will also aid in the development of independent gymnasts, self confidence and assist in a smooth transition between activities.
Re-establishing a routine doesn’t have to be sudden, or intrusive. In fact a slow progressive approach is more likely to be successful and sustainable. It’s also recommended to start introducing elements of a routine back into the household 1-2 weeks before reintroduction to Gymnastics or school.
Here’s some helpful ideas you might like to use in your routines:
• Bedtime and Wake Up time - We all know sleep is important, but sometimes we neglect an extra hour of sleep here or there for one reason or another. Especially with a more relaxed mood of the holidays. However in our Gymnasts, sleep is ever so important. When they are sleeping their bodies can heal sore/tired muscles, re-energise and grow. Adequate amounts of sleep also contribute significantly to emotion regulation, concentration, problem solving, communication, creativity and motor coordination. The Australian Centre for Education in Sleep recommends 10–12 hours of sleep for Primary Aged children and 8-10 hours of sleep for High School Students. Engage in an open conversation with your Gymnast about sleep expectations, bed time arrangements and work towards a happy and refreshed household.
Remember, slow introduction of a routine will be the most successful. Try slowly reducing the "staying up" bed time by 10-20 minutes a night until you have reached your desired and agreed upon bedtime.
• Routine Charts - Visual aids are also another clever and creative way you can re-introduce elements of a routine. As well as a personal way you can assign responsibility and independence in your Gymnast. For example, if you have agreed to assign your gymnasts the responsibility of packing their gymnastics bag the night before class... you may have a chart they can tick once they have packed all the required items. Leotards, water bottle, hair ties, leggings,
• After School Routine - Maintaining a consistent after school routine can be greatly beneficial, no matter what your routine may consist of. Keep in mind your gymnasts needs, take the time to organise a personal routine for your household. If you have a gymnastics class every Wednesday evening for example, you might decide to incorporate a snack time, a rest time, a minimal
electronic time, travel time, and an allocated waiting time at the Gym so everybody is prepared, relaxed and set up for success. Aim to give yourself and your gymnast time to recuperate. When you are feeling rushed, chances are your gymnast will be feeling it too!
• Time Telling - We live in a very digital and modern age, which can be full of fantastic learning tools and opportunities. However, we can still use things like analogue clocks to aid in self-management, time awareness, maths and fractions. Allocate times for each task, play time, and departure time. Display them as paper cut outs or as a real clock where it will be visible. Ask your child/gymnast questions, or inform them of a specific time that an event needs to occur. Watch over time to see improvements of self management, as they will be able to predict their routines and complete all tasks according to expectations.
These are just some ideas you might like to try, and there are many more ideas out there to be discovered as well! Get involved with your gymnasts, and work together to establish a reasonable routine for everyone in the household.
What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any techniques you believe to have assisted your Gymnast? Let us know in the comments.
Signing off for now,