A Parent’s Guide To Enjoying School Holidays
Christmas is over, but the school holidays still have weeks to go and they can be stressful. What to do with the kids, so that they don’t get bored? What to do with myself, so that I don’t lose it? And wouldn’t it be nice if, for once, I could enjoy school holidays, too? You can enjoy school holidays and here are some tips on how to do it.
Maintain your routine
You don’t need to be as strict with your routine as during school time, but kids still need some predictability in their day. For me, the biggest part of the routine is bed time. If they don’t go to sleep early enough, they don’t get enough sleep. They are cranky on the next day, and I don’t get my time to myself at night.
While there’s no need to plan in advance for every single day of the holidays, it helps to know what you’re doing on the next day so that you can get straight into it. Spending time in the morning trying to figure out what to do usually limits your options – by the time you’ve decided, it can be too late for some of the possibilities.
Not every day needs to be a full-on day
If you have entertainment planned all day every day, the kids will get tired and so will you. I like to alternate family outings and organised activities with quiet days when we stay at home more, read, do some craft and go to the local park or the library. By the way, libraries can be a great help when it comes to quiet days. My school children have signed up for our local library’s reading challenge and now they’re busy reading in an attempt to win a prize.
Family time is great, but you also need time to yourself, so if your partner is around, take turns looking after the children. You can also enlist grandparents’ help or swap child care with another parent. The kids will love playing with their friends and you will get your much needed free time.
It’s a good idea is to build time for breaks into your days. My 2-year-old has a nap in the afternoon and I usually use this time to sneak in some relaxing minutes for myself. Before my youngest one came along, I used to announce 5-minutes breaks every so often. I’d read a book or turn my attention onto something that interested me for just 5 minutes and the kids were ok with that, because they knew I’d be back with them soon and I’d be a much more agreeable person then.
Don’t let school holidays go by as just another thing on your parenting to-do list! They are an opportunity to connect and create precious memories with your children, and you deserve to enjoy them, too.
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