We just got back from a week long family vacation and like many parents, my wife and I loosened up our rules regarding television viewing, bed time, and what our kids were allowed to eat. As they were on vacation too, they were allowed to eat some late night snacks and sweets that they normally wouldn't be allowed to eat. They also spent the morning watching cartoons which doesn't happen a ton in our house. Like the kids, I myself was not so strict with my diet and did not exercise at all as I was "on vacation". Well, today was the day that I had to do my penance as I returned to the gym and my regular eating habits. Getting back to my regular eating habits was not that difficult to get back to. My first trip back to the gym, not so much. I felt weak as I lifted and struggled (and sweated profusely) through a twenty minute run on the treadmill. While I could see that the week long indulge fest had taken a tiny toll on my body, I was happy to get back into putting my time in.
As I got home I started thinking about how easy it is for children to want to continue the relaxed diet and television viewing rules that exist often on vacation (in fact, my son asked if we could go get ice cream tonight after his football practice ended at 7:30 and we hadn't eaten dinner yet). They have to adjust to getting back to their normal schedules as well. So if you are getting back from vacation, I don't think you have to make your kids "pay their penance" like I did, but make it a point to get them outside doing something active. We went swimming and went to the local elementary school to play some wall ball and touch football. Maybe it could be something as simple as going out for a nice family walk while you reflect on your great family vacation. Try to get your kids back to their normal activity levels incorporating fun activities. The sooner you do it the better!!