April 11, 2018

How to Manage School Holidays Whilst Making Space for You

Here's How

Whilst this is a simpe and effective strategy for all families it has proved especially helpful for those children who miss the structure of school and adults who see 6 weeks stretching ahead and some (most..!) of the feeling is panic or worry.

Have your weekly plan displayed where the children can see it.

If children cannot read, use pictures/line drawings.

Include your children in what they would like to do by giving reasonable activities to choose from.

Lunch will be a team effort from beginning to end and something to enjoy together not to be quickly done and out of the way. Side by side is often when our children will begin interesting and insightful conversations which can be used as teachable moments or just enjoying getting to know our child better.

Either the morning or the afternoon will be a planned activity with our children, the other will be independent play.

Typically, children will manage time on their own more easily once we have filled them up with our time and attention. Although it is often tempting to get things done in the morning, it can be more beneficial to be fully present with our children at this point.

So in this case the suggestion is to play with our children in the morning, have lunch and then give them time to be on their own in the afternoon.

Some children never seem to be full and constantly require attention in which case we can use this summer break to encourage independent play by building up incrementally. Start with a time goal that you know they can achieve and gradually increase the time, rewarding success with something they would naturally have anyway.

Embrace the screen - that’s right!

Unless there is an addiction present then screens are OK as long as we control them. Now don't get me wrong, of course there is ALWAYS something more educational or sociable to do than the screen alternative but we can use the screen wisely as a tool.

Special days are exceptions to the rule and can also be planned in advance or left open for spontaneity, this will depend on how our children respond to change.

REMEMBER

Once your child can manage independent play this, it is great parenting to allow our children to be bored for periods of time, not because we cant be bothered to think of anything for them but intentionally allowing space for creativity and ingenuity. This is the time when we watch and note where they take themselves. Again if they appear aimless at this point a gentle open suggestion or 2 but with little direction will prompt the initial stages of creativity.

Geniuses are born of time to spend on their passion

Any individual can be top of their game if they dedicate 10 years to something they have a natural ability in and are passionate about.

It is beautiful to allow our children to be bored.

Judith Lewis

Independent Behaviour Specialist & Founder of The Orange Pod

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