The holidays are in full swing and you have the kids at home – all day long. Wondering how you’re going to stay sane (and have fun) during the silly season? School counselor, Dave Swart of Riverside College in Burgundy Estate has some useful tips:
Agree on the ground rules:
Structure decreases chaos and boredom. Before your holiday even starts, hold a family meeting where everyone can voice what they would like to do. Remember to include quiet time, designated technology time and play dates. Deciding and planning activities together ensures fewer clashes over time management and miscommunication. Once your calendar is complete, put it up where everyone can see it, like in the lounge or kitchen and importantly, create rules around last minute changes to avoid arguments and instill routine.
Plan as many outdoor activities as possible, not only is this a healthy way to spend time together as a family, it’s also an excellent way to let off any potential steam – any parent with a 16-year-old will know what I’m talking about here.
Craft projects and board games are also great for bonding with bigger groups – make sure to put rules in place to curb competitive behavior – this applies to everyone – adults included.
Quality time with each child:
While it’s great to do things as a family unit, plan some one on one time too. Each child needs individual attention; it changes the dynamic and provides an opportunity to really listen to what’s on your child’s mind.
Make the most of your time together:
Be patient – holidays are the perfect opportunity to spend time with your child. Everyone is so busy during term time that there’s no time to bond on a deeper level. Having fun together is a great way to cement trust and create mutual respect that could last you the entire year.
Most importantly, set aside time for yourself:
Despite your efforts, you may still feel frustrated and in need of some you time. If your kids are old enough, encourage sleepovers or have them stay at a trusted family member. You’ll appreciate the breathing space and it will give you time to recoup and plan the next part of your family holiday. Have a look at the holiday programmes at your local mall or browse online for fun activities taking place in your area – a coffee break at your favourite café might be just the break you need.
Dave has been the resident counselor at Riverside College since 2012, he has a background in sociology and psychology. Based in Burgundy Estate, Riverside College offers quality pre-primary, primary and high school education. Each class, which has no more than 24 learners, is equipped with modern teaching facilities that incorporate new technology in a safe and secure environment. The College’s holistic approach to teaching means that parents are actively involved in their child’s education and the day to day running of the school.
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Founder: Elana Edwards