Mak­ing the best of hol­i­days

> In­stead of go­ing on trips, take the time for chil­dren to un­der­take spe­cial projects or learn new skills

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FAMILY TIES -

SCHOOL hol­i­days start next week. Some of you may have planned fam­ily hol­i­days lo­cally or abroad. Th­ese trips may last any­thing from three days to two weeks.

What will the kids be do­ing for the rest of the hol­i­days? Sprout roots on the couch watch­ing TV, or have their fin­gers per­ma­nently at­tached to the iPad or PC?

Maybe, you can en­rol your chil­dren in some hol­i­day en­rich­ment or lan­guage classes. That is well and good, but it will still leave large pock­ets of free time on your chil­dren’s hands.

So give your chil­dren some spe­cial projects to do. Note that th­ese do not al­ways have to spell F-U-N.

Let’s face it, life is not just fun-fun-fun all the time. There are times when re­spon­si­bil­i­ties must be ful­filled and work must get done. Chil­dren need to learn this fact of life.

No.4 has just fin­ished her PT3 and she has plenty of time to spare even be­fore the ac­tual school hol­i­day be­gins. She loves to read but then again, she won’t be read­ing from dawn to night ev­ery day.

She is not into ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties other than her weekly art class. Since she has turned her nose up at fun pur­suits such as bad­minton, archery or rock climb­ing, she could do some stuff at home.

I have given her a choice of com­ing in to my of­fice to help or bak­ing at least twice a week. She chose the lat­ter.

She is free to bake what­ever she wants: cakes, cook­ies or bread since our bread­maker is sorely un­der­utilised.

I also task her with pre­par­ing din­ner a cou­ple of times a week. She can cook sim­ple dishes like stewed chicken, stir-fried veg­eta­bles and cheese mac­a­roni.

If your teenagers have been trained to help out in the kitchen, you could as­sign them some cook­ing chores. Per­haps they could pre­pare a sim­ple meal once or twice a week.

You could help them to plan the menu and buy the in­gre­di­ents needed. Or they could work with what­ever food is avail­able in the fridge.

Since the new year is com­ing, how about giv­ing the gate a fresh coat of paint?

This is a pro­ject that chil­dren can han­dle quite eas­ily. Get them old clothes to wear and you can dis­card them if they be­come too stained.

This is also a good time to get the chil­dren to clear the junk that has ac­cu­mu­lated in their rooms. Give them a box to put the things that they want to throw away.

School books can be given away, sold, or sent to the re­cy­cling cen­tre. Clothes they have out­grown can be routed to rel­a­tives or friends who don’t mind wear­ing hand-me-downs.

Spring clean­ing can also un­earth things that are in good or­der but have fallen out of favour with the chil­dren.

Nowa­days, there are a lot of pre-loved web­sites where you could sell sec­ond-hand items. As they say one man’s junk is another man’s trea­sure. This is a way for the chil­dren to earn some ex­tra pocket money.

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