School holidays have always been a stressful time when we have children. In Britain there are a number of holidays throughout the year December Global Holidays. October half-term: two weeks at Christmas: a week in February; two weeks at Easter-time and a week in May. While these can seem challenging, especially if the weather is not too good, these pale in comparison to the challenges of the six week long summer holiday starting in late July and finishing in early September. While there have been plans murmured for years now about breaking these six weeks down to three or four and adding the remainder to other holidays – love it or loathe it, the six week long summer holiday is still here with us.
I’m sure that we are all aware of the stresses that having our children -or even a relative or friends children- at home over the summer can cause. While for most people the experience of sharing this valuable time is a positive one and well worth the effort – even so, there are times when this shared time really can become all too stressful. Below are a few techniques for getting through these enjoyable but testing times. While this article has an emphasis towards the summer holiday these techniques can nevertheless be used for any holiday or even a weekend for that matter.
I should also point out that most of these techniques are aimed at younger children and maybe very young teenagers. While some techniques can also be applied to young adults in their teenage years, the nature of teenagers means that different advice applies and this is something that I will cover in a later article. Some of my recommendation are as follows:
This enables us to best plan our time but also our finances for the summer. This can be done by ourselves looking at our diary and finances to get some idea of how much time we have and how much money we have to spend. This can also be done with our partners -if we have them- and even more important it can be a good idea to speak to the children, to go through what they want to do in their holiday and factor this into the time and personal finances that we have available.
I’m not going to state the obvious here about the costs of many activities throughout the summer holiday, especially those indoor activities such as the cinema, shopping, and eating out – often the things than children want to do most of all and the most expensive. For both cost effectiveness but especially for keeping us calm, it is a good idea to try and space these more costly but popular activities throughout the whole six weeks – maybe doing one expensive activity per week. Although it is tempting to do all of these things at the beginning of the holiday, especially if we are being constantly pestered; by spreading these over the whole six weeks we can give ourselves more time to save-up for these but also having things for the children to look forward to on days when, for whatever reason, it is simply not possible do to do these.
Here’s something that is always a point that is easy to say but difficult to do in reality. Without stating the obvious, the more exercise children get during the day they will, firstly be healthier and secondly, should want to go to bed earlier on a night – especially for younger children. This is a different situation altogether with teenagers. For younger children though, the more exercise they get during the day, the likelihood is that they will want to go to bed earlier at night, or even if this is not the case, they will most likely have tired themselves out and are quieter in the late evening. This in turn ensures that we get a good night sleep and are happier and healthier for this.
TRY AND HAVE A ROUTINE THROUGHOUT THE HOLIDAY – While nobody wants to get up at the crack of dawn during the holidays and feeling as if they are in a school morning routine, having some type of routine throughout the holiday can be extremely helpful. Though it can often be fun to get out of any sort of routine for the first two or three days of the holiday, having no routine at all can cause a great many problems. Without any routine we may feel that we are sleeping in all through the morning, not getting anything completed and then having difficulty sleeping at night – thus the cycle repeats over and over throughout the holiday.