Here in the southern hemisphere, we are deep into the summer holidays. Lovely long days filled with relaxation and time spent together. Well that is the idea any way. Unfortunately school holidays can also be a time of stress for many. The lack of the usual routine, later nights, disruptions, and treats, can all make for a stressful holiday. So here are my tips to help you stay sane during the long summer holidays:
On those days when we have nothing planned we make sure that the days have a rhythm that the kids can predict. For us this means the morning playing, lunch at midday, followed by read and relax for an hour. These days Toby no longer has a sleep (much to our disappointment), but he has a pile of books that he can look through. Movies or television are for the late afternoon when it is hot, and we are all tired. We try to keep bedtime at 7.30 for Toby, and 8.00 for the girls.
It doesn’t really matter what your routine is, providing it works for you. Having a routine helps prevent the worst melt downs. It makes sure that everyone has time on their own, and that tummys are filled regularly.
For our family, I try to make sure we have more time at home with nothing planned, than days spent out and about. We pick a few activities that we really want to do, and keep it at that.
An added bonus is that more time spent at home usually means a cheaper holiday too!
4. Maintain your standards. This one is the hardest. On holidays it can be easy to just let things slide. A rude word here, A bit of stomping or answering back there. After Christmas and all the new presents, plus the excitement of friends, family, and treats, kids can develop an attitude of entitlement very quickly. Despite not wanting to cause a stir, it really is easier to insist on the same behaviour standards that normally apply, rather than letting it slip for a few days or weeks. If the kids know what the expectations about their behaviour are, holidays are more pleasant for everyone.
I love school holidays (and not just because I’m a teacher), and the summer slowdown is my favourite time of year. By using these few ideas, it becomes an enjoyable, relaxing time for all of us.
What are your tricks for saying sane during the holidays?