Haven Magazine - - LIFE -

I en­joy the school hol­i­days (most of the time). Over the sum­mer, I usu­ally al­lo­cate ded­i­cated time to hang with the kids. Some­times we stay in PJS all day. Some­times we visit friends and fam­ily and en­joy a spon­ta­neous din­ner at a park. Some­times we go on out­ings. There are key goals I’ve de­vel­oped over the years to en­sure suc­cess­ful school hol­i­days, es­pe­cially over the long sum­mer break. By suc­cess­ful, I mean cre­at­ing a fun child­hood for my kids and stay­ing sane my­self. Re­mem­ber, every­one is ad­just­ing to the change of dy­nam­ics and lack of the school rou­tine. I of­ten re­mind my­self that an ad­just­ment pe­riod is ex­pected. Also, try­ing to keep the house or­gan­ised is ex­tra chal­leng­ing when the kids are home all the time. I’ve learned to ad­just my ex­pec­ta­tions and go with it. I’ve found that school hol­i­days can be fun when you bal­ance out these four key things: 1. Cost: I plan a few big out­ings and space them out be­tween the weeks. Eg. Go­ing to a play cen­tre, vis­it­ing a water­park or en­joy­ing the movies. This gives the kids some­thing to look for­ward to. 2. Busy kids: Plan­ning small and big out­ings keeps my chil­dren ac­tive, busy and happy. At the start of the sum­mer break, I brain­storm a list of fun ideas. I don’t go berserk, be­cause it’s im­por­tant for kids to be bored some­times and think of their own fun. Google has heaps of ideas and they can be sim­ple, like hang a sheet over the washing line to make a cubby, put a mat­tress down on the ground for read­ing and play­ing or have craft ac­tiv­i­ties stashed in the cup­board. I find hav­ing some sort of rou­tine help­ful too, for ex­am­ple, I of­ten go out in the morn­ings to do er­rands or out­ings, and the af­ter­noons are for chill­ing at home. 3. Down­time: It’s good to have ded­i­cated lazy home days too where you have no plans at all. 4. Do things you en­joy: I plan things I en­joy on the school hol­i­days too, in­clud­ing catch­ing up with friends or go­ing for a walk on the beach. When it comes down to it, suc­cess­ful school hol­i­days for me are about ad­just­ing my ex­pec­ta­tions, do­ing a lit­tle plan­ning and stay­ing flex­i­ble.

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