Are you planning to do anything and everything with your children this Christmas holiday? Please do not do it. Many children need to rest to recover from busy school days.
The Kids are off From School. Now What?
Most families with children benefit from structure and routines. These disappear when children no longer go to school and parents are free from work. During the holidays, you must find a new family mode. Daily affairs such as sleeping in, breakfast, and bedtime can suddenly cause friction.
As a parent, it is good to realize that school holidays have not been introduced for nothing. Children are tired and have a period off to rest and recharge. After the holidays, they will have an intensive period of school work again.
What do Kids like to do During a Break?
Parents are sometimes inclined to plan such a holiday full of outings and visits to relatives or friends. Understandable, but many children mainly want peace and quiet: they don’t want to have to do anything for a while. Especially at a time when performance stress and pressure are high among young people, it is very nice to not have to do anything at all for a week: relax, play at home, do nothing, or sleep in.
Don’t worry about your kids getting bored. In young children, boredom often leads to creative ideas and teenagers are simply very good at doing nothing. As a parent, you can be annoyed by that, but there is nothing wrong with it.
How to Plan as a Family
If your child is free for fourteen days, you can choose to do something as a family for four or five days. Choose days that make all family members happy. Also, look for activities at home that everyone enjoys. Involve your children in this: if you are going to watch a film together, let the children choose the film
You don’t have to involve very young children in all your choices, but young people from the age of twelve feel taken seriously and valued when you consult with them. So take them seriously as a conversation partner.
What if Everyone has Different Ideas?
On the days when you are not doing something as a family, I would let the children do their own thing, except when not everyone in the family has the same wishes. Set the bar low, and don’t expect too much from your kids.
I recommend going for the ‘pick your battles’ tactic: consciously choose what you do and don’t care about. In practice, this means that your child may spend hours behind a screen or not throw their socks in the laundry basket himself. Sometimes tensions and arguments worsen during the holidays because you are together for longer, so be kind to yourself as a parent and turn a blind eye every now and then.
How Parents can Rest
Holidays with children are often considered exhausting. When you have very young children, making time for yourself is difficult. Yet, you can already practice this with toddlers and preschoolers. Tell your child that he or she will play by himself and grab a book for yourself. With young children this may be fifteen minutes or half an hour, older children can enjoy themselves for an hour or two. They get better at this if you practice it often with them. In the end, everyone in the family will be happy.