Survive the Summer Holidays
Reaching for the Gin? Children's life coach Lisa Parkes is here to help
Do the summer holidays have you breaking into an anxious sweat? Are you booking day trips and play dates (and stocking up on Gin?) Don’t worry girlfriend, I’m hearing you – we’ve all been there. The whine of ‘I’m bored’. Or, ‘he’s been in my world on Minecraft’ don’t quite align with the vision I have of my children frolicking with playful abandon through fields of wildflowers.
But Weybridge-based children’s life coach Lisa Parkes, aka the Smiley Coach, is here to save our summer, with some super helpful advice on how to get through the next few weeks, and it doesn’t involve you being referee and chief event planner the entire time. Go forth and enjoy the summer people.
1. Manage your own perceptions for the summer
Instead of thinking you’ve got six long weeks to entertain the kids, focus on the positives that come from having six weeks holiday, like the time you get to bond with your children, the absence of the school run routine. It’s also important to do things for yourself that don’t involve the children, like seeing your own friends.
2. Boredom is good as it’s where creativity is born
Kids need to be bored to think for themselves. It’s not a parent’s job to entertain their children. You want your kids to become self starters and to think for themselves. So throw it back to them. Perhaps create a boredom jar together at the start of the holidays. Fill a jar with notes that have ideas of things to do: include things like have a water fight in the garden, household chores, crafts, dressing up, colouring in, baking.
3. Let kids sort out their own arguments
Children need to learn positive conflict resolution and they will only learn this on the job. If you dive in to save them at every opportunity, they cannot learn and you will end up playing referee all summer long. If nobody is being hurt or in danger, I would leave them to it.
3. Make a plan
Brainstorm summer ideas together as a family. Everyone will have different ideas and everyone needs to say what their wants are when you making the plan. Get a big desk planner and write in what you’re going to do on each day. Involve kids into the planning process and give the children an input, that way they’ll be more likely to cooperate.
4. Define a lighter summer routine
You’ll still need to have a routine, but not a rigid one like the school term brings. If the teenager wants to have a lie in, there’s no point getting upset if they sleep in til 11am. But if you have a plan in place and they know there’s a day out planned, they have to get up. And the next day, if there’s no day out planned, they can have a lie in. Everyone in the family needs down time so only plan one major activity a day. During term time we over scheduled so it’s important to use this time for quality connection as a family.
6.Take them to a holiday club
Openly daily from 8am until 6pm, and with many great activities planned – including playing in the garden, baking, roll play and even days out – holiday clubs are cheap, fun and (most importantly) get the kids out of your hair for a day or two.