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6 Steps To Survive The School Summer Holidays

Written by: Karen Shaw, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Karen Shaw

Most kids love the Summer Holidays, I did, I really looked forward to them. It’s a time of excitement, joy and ‘carefreeness’ for children. For parents, on the other hand, it can be a time of stress with all the logistics and juggling that has to be done, never mind thinking of what to do with the kids to keep them occupied and enjoy them. Tempers can get frayed, arguments can arise and what often feels like chaos can ensue. It doesn’t have to be that way. Below are 6 ways to get the most out of the holidays for your kids and yourself. It takes planning, patience, and willingness to have an open mind and do things differently. Not only can you survive, you can thrive and build an even stronger relationship with your children.

group of children standing in green grass field during day time

1. Plan ahead


An adage, I’m sure you’ve heard: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” Take some time to plan out the upcoming weeks. Create a flexible schedule that includes a mix of activities, quiet ones, more boisterous ones, outings, and downtime. Having a rough plan in place can help manage expectations and reduce last-minute stress. Not that you have to always keep to it. Bear in mind our children will have their moods, as we do, judge their mood, their energy levels, adapt the activity to suit. Also be spontaneous sometimes, often these times can turn out to be the most fun and create great memories.


2. Offer choice


Rather than say “What do you want to do today?” Give them options, three at the most and all ones that you’re happy and able to do. Ask them “Would you like to do Option 1, or Option 2, or… Option 3” Be enthusiastic about all of them, make it exciting and they will engage more.


3. Get organised


You can involve them in this too. I know a child will often say I have nothing to do, or I’m bored, when they have a room full of toys, books, games, etc. Make this an activity to do with them. Sort out the books, toys, board games, electronic games and devices.

Get jars or boxes and label them Books, Toys, Games, or whatever else they have and write a list of all they have in each category. Cut out each thing on the list separately and pop them in a jar. They can then choose from the jars or boxes, what book, game, or toy they will play with. Make it fun and choose blindly so it’s a surprise.

Make the decorating of the jars or boxes an activity in itself. Have them on a shelf or top of a chest of drawers looking inviting and it will engage them more, without the overwhelm of having to think or choose for themselves what to do.


4. Consider their mood and energy levels


They, like us, will have different moods and energy levels. We can be in Nurture, where we want to hibernate or not do very much, then Whisper when we are a little more lively and feel like doing something. Then Create, where we want to do, make and move. Then Shine, at the top of the game, very energetic, sometimes with children, bouncing off the walls! So here are activities for each of those states.


a. Nurture. Easy things to do. Reading books, colouring in, listening to audiobooks, watching films. Make-believe play, building camps and beds to hibernate or snuggle in.


b. Whisper. A little more lively, board games, reading to each other out loud, activity books with puzzles, indoor make-believe play, toys picnics, tea parties.


c. Create. Speaks for itself, more doing activities, crafting, baking, and making things, indoors or outdoors. Gentle walks, park trips, picnics. Indoor make-believe play, creating tents to camp in, trains, buses, with chairs to go traveling and exploring.


d. Shine. When they have the most energy and need the outdoors to run, play, and be loud. The time for theme parks or meeting up with other parents and friends.


5. Connection time


It’s important to be engaged with them as much as you can be, not just expect them to get on with it on their own. Set aside a set amount of time to be with your child, or each of your children, when it’s just you and them. Do something you know they enjoy. If you have other children make sure they have something to occupy them and they can get on with, then create this special one-to-one time. It works best if it’s more than just a few minutes, though doesn’t have to be hours. It allows for connection and bonding. Share conversations, tell them stories about what you did as a child, something they don’t know about you, or grandparents. Traditions you and your family have and create some of your own.


6. Self-care for parents


Amidst all the planning and activities, remember to prioritize your own well-being. Take time for self-care activities that recharge your batteries, such as reading, exercising, eating well, drinking plenty of water, meditation, or mindfulness practice. When you are the best you, then you’ll be the best parent you can be.


To ‘Survive and Thrive’ during the summer holidays as a parent requires a blend of organization, creativity, and a positive mindset. Being as calm and in control as possible, knowing things won’t always go the way you want or planned. Roll with it, embrace it and even if it’s in the midst of chaos know “This too shall pass”. Enjoy the season's opportunities, and remember that the bonds you strengthen and the memories you create will last a lifetime. You can join me and our Parenting Magic Community here for more tips and techniques.


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Karen Shaw Brainz Magazine
 

Karen Shaw, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Karen Shaw is a leading light in Conscious parenting and energy alignment. Author of 1 best selling book Parenting Magic – A New Approach to Behaviour & Communication. A single mum for over 21 years of three sons, each with their unique challenges. She has found a way to have a fantastic relationship with them, by combining her knowledge and skills in NLP, Hypnotherapy, Energy Therapy and parenting (She has been a parent for over 43 years now! ) and has woven together all these elements and created 'The Parenting Magic Method' so we can all experience a happy family life.

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