Vacation’s Over? Simple Routines to Get the Family Back on Track


The holidays are over, but as we all know that hardly means the hustle and bustle of everyday life will slow down. So what can you do to help get back in the swing of things and make sure the whole family starts the New Year off right? Elaine Cudnik, a nurse practitioner with Renown Pediatrics, joins Channel 4 KRNV (NBC) and Channel 11 KRXI (FOX) for Best Medicine Wednesday to share some some helpful tips.

Where’s the lunchbox?  Someone’s lost a shoe. And what’s for dinner, anyway? Getting back into a routine with school-age children following a vacation or break can be challenging. We asked Elaine Cudnik, a nurse practitioner with Renown Pediatrics, how to get the whole family back into the swing of things. 

It’s been shown that children do best when they have regular, consistent routines but we all know that can be a challenge. What can we do to make the work week less hectic?

To help with everyone’s stress level, it’s important to unwind and relax each night and enjoy some time together. After work and school, focus on family time during dinner. As often as possible, eat together at the dinner table without the TV. During dinner, talk about your days and what’s ahead that week.

As much as possible, try to get the whole family to work out for at least 20 minutes each day. This can mean a walk around the neighborhood, jumping rope, playing tag. Whatever gets you all moving.

On school nights, children need a regular time to go to sleep. Of course, depending on how much sleep each child needs, you may have different bedtimes for different ages. Nighttime rituals help children of all ages get to sleep. These can include storytelling, reading aloud and songs. Try to avoid exciting play and activities before bedtime as they may keep your child up.

What should the morning routine look like?

In addition to relaxing and unwinding with the family, taking a few steps to get ready for the next day can help kids and parents get out the door on time.

Before your bedtime routine, have your kids help with the “chores” of getting ready for tomorrow. Have them pick out clothes for the next day or even pick out a week’s worth of clothes the weekend before. Getting lunches ready and packed the night before can also prove to be a time and stress saver.

In the morning, be sure your child is waking up at the same time each day and staying on task. Breakfast is especially important to start the day off right. And of course, be sure to say goodbye and wish your child a great day whether that’s a hug, wave or a special handshake.

What can you do on the weekends to help calm things down?

Weekends are great for spending more time together as a family and getting ahead of the week. You can go grocery shopping as a family and work with the kids to plan a healthy menu for the week. And while chores may not be your first choice, they’re a great way to work together to make the week less hectic for everyone.

What are some tips to get your kids to help pitch in when cleaning?

There are some easy things you can do to make cleaning more fun. Enlist younger kids to help with sorting: whether it’s laundry or getting toys in order, you can make it fun. Grab a hula hoop or basket and have them sort by color or type.

Find a broom, mop or dust buster in your kid’s size. Having something their own size helps them feel involved. Plus a clean broom and dustpan are a great way to clean up toys fast.

Have a cleaning contest: have the kids race each other. Or have the kids compete against mom and dad and see who cleans each room the fastest.

What are your go-to tips for creating and maintaining a family routine? Comment and share below!