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Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again!

“The top four things to know about the brain:

  1. The brain is pattern-seeking
  2. The best exercise for the brain is exercise
  3. Connections on the outside build neural connections on the inside
  4. The brain functions optimally when we feel physical and psychologically safe.”

-Becky Bailey, Ph.d.

This time of year between Christmas and back to school can be a frustrating time for both kids and parents. Everyone and everything seems to be off schedule. Your kids spend more time with you than with their friends. Your kids may be less active at home than they are during a regular school week, sleeping in and spending more time on their tablets or watching movies on Disney+. If we add all this up, we get a perfect storm of kids “not behaving” as they usually do.

I know there were days of Christmas break when my girls were younger that I hardly recognized the quarreling banshees that had invaded my house after Christmas. The line in the popular Christmas song “And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again!” never made sense to me before, but it did then! Oh, if I had known now what I know then…. I would have kept to a more regular schedule. Up at regular times and to bed at regular times. It is better for their brains. We would have turned off the TV more and gone roller-skating or ice-skating- anything for more exercise! It is better for their brains. We would have had more play dates with their friends and cousins. It is better for their brains!

I try to forgive myself for “not knowing better” as a young mom. I know I did the best I could with what I knew then. I hated being off schedule, less active, and more secluded just as much as my kids did. I didn’t know that the reasons I was unhappy, but when you look back at how we know that the brain works, it makes so much sense.

I am not telling you all these things because I want to be the boss of how you spend your holiday vacation time. I hope the wisdom I have gained over the years can bring you more peace.

You should not just take my word for how this works. Do your own research. Google things like “optimal brain function,” and “Becky Bailey,” “brain development,” and “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.” I have done lots of reading, listening to podcasts, and talking to people who are a lot smarter than I am. While I am still not a brain expert, I find it amazing that knowledge we do know about the brain also lines up with God’s plans for us.

Our brains are fearfully and wonderfully made!

God gave the days and nights. He created the seasons. So much of our lives revolve around the patterns he set for us.

Our bodies and brains need to be active. Slothfulness is not God’s plan for us.

We need each other. We need our family, our friends, and our church community. All these people in our lives work for each other, fulfilling God’s purpose for us.

We are our best selves when we a living out His plan for our lives. When we feel safe and secure living in a community or family, that is based on love and safety first!

Re-read the story of Joseph in Genesis with this idea of how the brain works in mind. Then, re-watch an Avengers movie or Beauty and the Beast! This idea of connections, activity, and routine shows in many of the stories you already know. When you are convinced, you can revisit how you are making connections, activities, and predictable routines a part of your family life.

I wish you well!

Miss Jenni


Published by Miss Jenni

Just trying to do better than I used to do.

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