The holidays are finally here! Our kids have worked so hard for a session, and it’s time for them to unwind and have fun. I personally look forward to spending quality time with my kids every school break. I have the privilege of flexible work hours, which I’m thankful for; but, I know not every parent has this same privilege.
So many parents dread the long vacation because the lack of a daily routine throws them completely off balance. However, this holiday doesn’t have to be such a struggle. Both you and your kids can have a win-win situation. Here are some ways to help you manage being at work, while ensuring your children are kept safe at home or at summer school, if you enrol them, so everyone can have a happy holiday.
Plan ahead and with your kids, if possible
This is the first step to having a successful and highly enjoyable holiday. Determine how you want the holiday to go, and make plans to execute it. Do you want to travel with the kids, sight see, or teach them new skills? Make a list of the activities you and your kids want to do and schedule them into your calendar.
After laying out all the fun activities, do not forget to include some educational plans as well, to keep them in touch with their academics. If your children are struggling in a particular subject, use this time to brush them up and prepare them ahead for the new session.
For older children who can write, you could encourage them to tell you about their day in writing. This will help them to easily get into the flow of things when school resumes.
Help your domestic staff adjust into the new routine
Just like you, your domestic staff might be thrown off balance when the holiday arrives, because it changes their routine as well. It is important that you help your staff adjust and ease into the holiday mode because, to be honest, during long holidays, it can become more tasking for them. Having to care for kids, prepare their meals, and keep them actively engaged, while attending to other household chores. If you want the holiday to be fun and safe for your children, you need to guide your domestic staff on what to do.
Help them restructure waking hours and meal preparation schedules. Put structures in place for naps, play schedule, TV time, outdoor activities, types of activities they can engage in, etc. The importance of having these structures cannot be overemphasised. If they are not put in place, you will likely get back from work each day to quench fires or do damage control.
Limit the number of strangers who have access to your home in your absence
Holidays are a dangerous time to leave your house open and easily accessible to just anybody, because your kids are home. This is a time to be extra cautious about who you let through your doors, because a lot of sexual abuse cases happen during the holidays. If you must invite maybe artisans, maintenance, or other service providers into your home, ensure that you have a trusted adult around who will keep an eye on your children to keep them from any form of abuse. It is also important that you teach your children about sexual abuse, how to keep themselves safe, and what to do if someone tries to invade their privacy.
Check out the summer school, ask necessary questions about child care policy
Before you enrol your children in any summer school or other out of home activities, be sure to do your due diligence as a parent. Survey the environment, do your findings to ensure the place is safe, and be sure that they have a reasonable caregiver to pupil ratio. It’s important that your kids are not left without adequate supervision per time. After you have satisfied the above conditions, it is super important to make arrangements for early pick up. Do not let your children become easy targets for predators, kidnappers, and other evil doers.
Most of all, have plenty of fun and engage in fun activities together
The whole point of a holiday is to help kids relax after their hard work, and get them re-energised for the next session of learning. The only way to achieve this is to let them have a good dose of fun. Don’t make the holiday another school term, let the children have fun. You too, take some time to have fun with them. This will help you unwind and reduce stress. Plan to visit parks, have family picnics, you can even teach them generation games like ten-ten, suwe, tinko-tinko, etc. Enjoy simple things together and don’t think you can only have fun outside of Nigeria.
I wish you a relaxing and fun-filled holiday!