The importance of schedules, even in the summer

It’s summer vacation and all, but in the last fortnight we’ve really had a chance to see just how incredibly important a consistent schedule and keeping the rhythm of the school year are for our family. About two weeks ago we drove about 500 miles or so to get to our summer retreat in Missouri. Not horribly far, but with lots of stops for restrooms and runaround time (a great way to deal with cranky kids!) we ended up getting into Kansas City about 10pm, way later than we’d expected. And it was really hard on the kids… they were, of course, wired because we’d arrived, and it took at least an hour to get them to sleep. That’s 11pm, four hours later than their usual bedtime.
The next day we drove another few hours to get to the final destination, and made the mistake of being so sidetracked by errands and food shopping that we, again, didn’t arrive until 9pm or so.
Two nights in a row of late night activity and the kids were quite different from their usual loving selves for four or five days, until we finally got them back on a normal sleep schedule. Once they were both “going zombie” around 7pm or so, after long, hard, fun days of playing and activities, everything just settled down and we all became happier again.
Our lesson: keeping on schedule is critical to happy travel with younger kids, and we have vowed to change our approach to travel to maximize the chance we can keep them in what we might call their Winter Rhythym all year round.

3 comments on “The importance of schedules, even in the summer

  1. Do the children like to go to bed so early as 7PM? I have a small family, which makes it easier, and we have loose schedules – we usually go to bed only when we’re sleepy. If the schedule changes because of a day that was different it’s usually no big deal.

  2. We drove to disney land and had to make so many stops with more than one little one in the car/
    yes, schedule maybe, but sometimes there is no way around the turmoil ! yet, we do it !

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