CogniFit's Science blog: Hard Change Period For The Kids

Hard Change Period For The Kids

The end of the summer holidays marks the beginning of a new school year. It marks the end of some habits and a recovery of the routine (in the positive sense of the word “routine”). Similarly to other change periods, it’s a hard time.

We all know that our brain is defensive when it comes to change. Regardless of the flexibility or openness to change each of us has, there will always exist, explicitly or not, a defense mechanism from the brain to anything that changes the way we currently do things.

We tend to think that the children don’t feel the change as much as adults do, but they too show defensive reactions. One very important one in this period of the year, is the resistance to change the working and studying habits. Let’s face it, after so much time with no school, it is hard to go back to the old habits. These include the habit of waking up early to go to school, the homework, the limited time for playing. The end of the summer holidays is indeed the beginning of several limits kids weren’t used anymore to have.

For the parents it isn’t an easy period either. Getting their kids to adjust to the needed working habits, making sure they pay attention and concentrate in their revisions and homework, is enough to drive them crazy. It demands patience, perseverance and especially a lot of time dedicated to the children.

Although it is advisable to keep the children with some sort of work during the holidays, for many reasons but mainly to make sure they remember what they have learnt and to keep their brain exercised, realistically this doesn’t happen all the time. And therefore the challenge of making sure the children go back to the new school year recalling what they have learnt is too something the parents should worry about.

The theory is very easy to write, but the practice at home is something different. But remember, there are some good alternatives to a hard change. For example, mixing school work with mental exercises not only quickly improves the child’s ability to remember but also develops their cognitive skills. On top of that, the mental exercises may bring a ludic element to the “recovery process”, capable of engaging the child’s attention and performance.