• Deirdre Brandner

School Holidays - eek, they are home again ….

So, school holidays and options for entertain may look a bit limiting. How do you survive this time when you are working from home and there are sets of eyes staring at you every morning expecting to know what they will be doing?

In addition, as parents we now have the added guilt of either keeping them home away from their friends or exposing them to the outside world. You have a child that is desperate for social interaction, but you want to ensure they are safe.

Everyone copes better when there is plan and you are preventative. Discuss with your partner about what you feel comfortable with as parents during this next stage of restrictions.

Will you let them have sleepovers? Spends the day with their friends at their house? What if they’re invited away for a few days?

School holidays work when there is some structure about what might be doable, not necessarily for everyday as we need flexibility. Try to sit together as a family and list what each of us might like to do.

Draw up a list of options and decide in advance when these might work, whether they depend on whether or other children’s availability. you will do these.

Make sure your child has time to ‘amuse’ themselves, you are not the entertainment committee.

Have a visual schedule, these are a must so children can see pictorially or written what is on for each day.

Be preventative; Have chats with your children and teens about what are the boundaries around who they see and where they go.

Check in advance about what is open and if there are any restrictions or pre- booking involved. You don’t want to be dealing with disappointments if they can be avoided.

Avoid using these phrases “let’s see”, “ill try and see if they can come over”, “mmmm. maybe later in the week”. This ambiguity will be interpreted as

a) It’s going to happen, and then when it doesn’t there is a meltdown

b) Your child will need to keep nagging you to make it happen

c) Because you have uttered one of these phrases in a moment of weakness that you can even recall you find yourself having to make it happen.

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