With the summer holidays rolling out across Australia you can almost feel the collective sigh from parents everywhere who have school-age kids – for some it will be relief, others trepidation….. So here’s the BIG question. What’s your kids school holidays looking like? Some of you may remember a time when summer holidays were filled with ‘nothing to do’ – endless days of playing down the street, in neighbours yards, at beaches or local waterholes with kids of all ages, or even just spent playing by yourself…….
So what does your child’s holidays look like? Is it a series of playdates with one or two friends, a juggle of vacation care and a variety of holiday programs strung together, or perhaps a heap of screen-time spent in air-conditioned comfort? Or best yet, will you be actively seeking ways in which your kids can enjoy some ‘unstructured’ outdoor play with other kids that you yourself may have enjoyed when you were young?
Our recent Follow the Sun road trip sponsored by Dometic Australia has made me see clearly how important it is to create ‘time out’ for our children. Time to ‘disconnect’, time to ‘be’ (present or in the moment) and time for them to take on acceptable ‘risks’ without a parent hovering over them 24/7. It has also made me realise that it’s not only our kids that can benefit from all of this.
Right now there’s probably a raft of parents bemoaning the fact that they’d love their kids to do ALL of the above BUT….
I’d love to say that my kids enjoy the same freedom as I did as a child BUT even ‘Adventure Mumma’ has work commitments, vacation activities scheduled in AND playdates already set up. AND yes, I’ll admit that there will be times when my children take time out from the heat and be allowed to ‘veg out’ time for a time in front of a screen…….BUT saying that, I DO make a concentrated effort to balance out all this with the opportunity for my kids to experience moments that I cherished during my own childhood.
So how can you mix it up for your own kids during the upcoming holidays? Here’s a few suggestions:
Book in one day (or night) every week/month where you meet up, share a barbie at a local park/beach/creek and let the kids ‘hang-out’ together. If you put the invite out to a heap of families from school/sports/kindy etc invariably someone will always turn up on the pre-arranged night/day.
And as the kids get older (and your lives get busier) its easy for the same group to meet up occasionally over holidays OR during significant dates and reconnect.
If you’re based in Tropical North Queensland (or coming for a visit) read on:
You can guarantee that my family will be doing most of the above over our school holidays – I’ve found the more they get outdoors and away from ‘screen time’ the more opportunity they have to create a summer holiday that’s worth remembering AND the more self-reliant and confident they become as individuals….after all, isn’t that anyone wants for their children?