The school holidays are fast approaching, and many families will be preparing for five weeks with their school aged children at home. The thought of this, alongside with all of the things to prepare for Christmas, can be a very stressful time for some families.
It saddens my heart when I hear parents say to their children “I can’t wait for you to go back to school!” I think to myself really? You would much rather be at work than be spending time with your kids?
There is something just so wrong about that.
The school holidays are the perfect times for parents to be connecting and spending quality time with their children. These are the days that our children will look back on when they are older and remember what family life was like.
They will remember that their parents spent time with them, and these are the simple moments where wonderful family memories are embedded for life.
Children move from being in a very structured routine during the school term, to having a lot of idle time. When children become bored, their behaviour can very quickly escalate and become disruptive and negative.
With a little bit of considered planning, & most importantly input from your child, the school holidays can be a time of joy for all members of the family.
Firstly we need to remember that our children are on holiday! They have worked hard all year at school and deserve to have a break and a little bit of fun. By encouraging your children to be involved in planning for their own holidays, gives them ownership & responsibility.
Children need to be taught how to entertain themselves, as well as being stimulated by other sources. Parents also need to be able to feel relaxed and happy during the holidays, so working together as a family to create a happy holiday plan for everyone, is a great idea.
Some handy tips to get you started-
Planner- There are so many downloadable weekly planners that can be used, although drawing them up on paper is just as effective. Older children can make the planner for the family. Set it out a week at a time for 5 weeks. Divide each day into three sections- morning, lunch and afternoon. Put them up on a wall somewhere that is visible to the whole family, for you to refer to.
Budget –Every family will have their own unique needs such as budgets and interests, and children need to be mindful of this. Before you start planning with your children, you need to do a bit of homework. Consider your budget. Ask yourself how many outings you are happy with and can afford. Are you happy to have friends over for play dates? Check your local council website for events that your children might be interested in.
Down time – schedule at least one hour when you are at home for down time. This is the time that everyone can go to their rooms to have time alone. Down time is perfect for reading or writing creative stories. This is a fantastic way to ensure that parents get at least an hour break during the days they are not leaving the house.
Be creative – not all activities should cost you money. Part of the fun in the planning is that your children should be involved. Children have brilliant ideas to contribute & they will come up with some wonderful and whacky activities – go with it and have fun! Instead of heading out to the movies, plan a movie night at home. Pop the popcorn, get the kids to make the tickets, and snuggle up together as a family!
Remember all kids ever really want from you is your time!
If you genuinely enjoy spending time with them and making the effort, they will be engaged and their little hearts will be bursting with happiness.
You will have provided them with some wonderful and special days that they will treasure long into their adult life.
Happy holidays everyone!
Love Chrissie xx
Chaos to Calm Consultancy would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurung people of the Kulin Nation.We acknowledge the elders past, present and emerging - particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents who walked before us supporting and connecting their children to the earth, water and community. Always was. Always will be.