My son and two younger siblings are closing school in a few days, and I feel slightly panicked. I’m half dreading having them home all day, especially as I work from home and Iknowthere will be no peace and quiet. The more I think about this, the more I realise many parents probably struggle with it too. More so now that another long holiday is around the corner.
Children are notoriously energetic, so they constantly need to be kept out of trouble and mischief. But then, as a parent or caregiver, the demands of work life can be hectic. Finding the time and energy to keep children properly engaged can be quite a task. So today we’ll talk about practical ways to keep your kids engaged this long holiday.
Summer holiday school/lessons
This is my least favourite option. I don’t think children should have school work all sessionandduring the holiday too. Rest and play are just as important for the development of children as formal learning. But if your goal is to reinforce the lessons learned in the previous school year, keep them ahead of the next class academically, or you can’t see your way clear to any other option at the moment, this will help you stay sane for a few hours at least.
I know this is not really a thing in Nigeria at the moment, but it needs to be. I have ’employed’ my little brother as my temporary research assistant. I know it will be good for his self-esteem among other things. Let your kids pick up a job or join an internship programme. This will teach them to value earning their own money, and adds the long term benefit of a solid CV with some work experience. If your work allows for it, you can have your kids at work with you. Just like it did in agrarian times, it will help you bond with your children while giving them a great opportunity to learn your work ethics and practices by example. It might even inspire them to follow in your footsteps when it’s time for career choices, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that if I were you.
If you still have your parents and they are willing to spend time with your kids, send them over. While I don’t think the older generation knows everything, I do think that they can teach our children so many valuable lessons about life and living. Among other things, the kids also learn to value and respect the elderly as they bond with their grandparents. I fully intend to send my son along with my siblings when they go to my parents this next holiday.
Sign your children up for extracurricular lessons. Research has shown that kids grow up more balanced and successful when theyare encouraged to develop other interests. So, sign your kids up for dance, swimming, or music lessons, or let them play sports like tennis, football, and basketball around your neighbourhood. This will also help them develop other social skills that will come in handy in their future pursuits.
If you belong to any religious body, you may have noticed that they already have ads for summer camps. These camps are designed to keep your children occupied while teaching them valuable life skills by combining some of the earlier mentioned activities for a well-rounded formation. Even if you aren’t religious, there are non-academic and non-religion based summer camps available.
I hope these suggestions help you plan a stress free long holiday for both you and your kids. You totally need it!
Please share your tested and trusted tips for managing the long holidays with your kids.