Making most of vacations

Published On: October 13, 2019 01:00 AM NPT By: Usha Pokharel

During this vacation, spend time communicating with your children and understanding their needs.  It is important for children and parents to understand each other

These are the vacation times for children. Vacation is something that your kids look forward to eagerly with hopes of getting to have ice cream for breakfast and staying up till two watching movies or their favorite television program. Although these wishes can be granted occasionally without doing any harm, you still need to make sure that the majority of your child’s time is being spent productively. Holidays can be a great time to bond with children. You can even let your own inner child come out to play with your children. At the same time, it can be stressful when kids misbehave because of boredom. 

Expect your children to be running around and definitely get into pranks. Your children’s habits are definitely going to change, with no school and school-related works. This is where parents are worried about. How to keep them busy? How to engage them in something that is beneficial? There are a couple of things that parents can do to help their children. If you have a joint family, it is so much better. If you have an older child at home, that is even better, but if you have a nuclear family, then you have a little problem.

My advice to parents is to prepare, well in advance. If children know of the schedule ahead of time, they will look forward to that time and instances of mischief will decrease. Involving your children in the planning process will reduce the chances of complaining about the activities because they are part of the decision-making process. If you are a teacher, your vacation time is the same as your children’s but if you work in an office, you have a slight disadvantage in managing your time. Discuss with your child to find out what fancies them to help them achieve their wishes. 

First you can check on the internet what is available. Some embassies have some programs going during the vacation time. You can enroll them in that. Unfortunately, we have very few proper libraries that they can borrow books from, but there are sites that offer a huge reading resource. All that is needed is an e-book reader or a computer, tablet or even a smartphone. If you don’t want to give your child access to these gadgets, you will have to have it printed for them. That would work as well. Few of them are Kathmandu valley public library (Bhrikuti Mandap), and Rotary Awon library (rotary hall, Thapathali). Use your local library regularly. Make a day out of it. Do some reading while you’re there instead of getting some books and heading home. Cultivate in your children love for books. Books are the best gifts you can give them. If you cannot get to the library there are free e-book sites.

One such site with Free-eBooks is Project Gutenberg and then there is E-Pustakalaya. Here you can download reading materials depending on your children’s age. Apart from this you can check and see various sports community offering training in different sports, soccer, cricket, tennis or martial arts. There might even be short programs offered at the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts. Or they can learn to play an instrument or even dance. There are various places that teach that. Sushila Arts Academy is one example.

You need a proper plan to help your children spend their vacation. Ask them how they would like to spend. Make plans with them. During weekends you need to spend as much time as possible with your children. Use your imagination. Do things you always wanted to but never had the opportunity for with your children. Remember that guitar that you once had? You never did find the time to use it recently. You could ask your children to invite their friends and have a proper jamming session on your guitar that you have stored someplace collecting dust. You never know, you might enjoy it along with your children.  You can even play board games with them. Ever thought of playing soccer or cricket again at this age? Why not, go ahead and indulge yourself. Watching sports program with your children on the TV is fun once a while. Commenting on the matches even more. On the weekends you can take them on a day trip and have them write about the trip. That will keep them occupied even after the trip. Go on nature walks with a purpose. In the forest, get your kids to seek out different types of bugs, plants or trees. Alternatively, ask them to plot the map of the route you are taking. Giving them a plan will ensure they don’t get bored too quickly.

For the time being forget that you are their parents and they are your children. You can even talk about the festivities. Talk about why they have the vacation time. Take them out on a hike or even for Momo dinner. Have them construct something, make something even if it is just with paper. Provoke their creativity. Main thing is to have an interaction with them. Open the communication door with your child. Taking them back to your village for festivals is the best possible thing to do. They usually are bored by the urban life. Going back to your place of birth is going to spark their imagination.

Your children are going to be very happy if you plan some play dates and invite their friends over. While they spend time with their friends it may give you the opportunity to get some work done and perhaps even connect with other parents. You can also engage your children in household chores. This might be an excellent time to have your children participate in the house cleaning process. Especially their room or even other household chores like taking the trash out. Visiting friends and relatives makes an excellent opportunity for children to get acquainted with them. The busy urban schedule has drastically reduced the time children spend with their grandparents or relatives. You could even organize visiting family and friends during the holiday time. You can even take them to visit their cousins or call the cousins to your place. With the busy life of urban parents, children should not be deprived of the company of other children they enjoy the most. While planning summer vacation trips, parents can invite the cousin’s family and plan a good reunion as well. 

Finally, during this vacation, spend time communicating with your children and understanding their needs. At the same time understand children’s state of mind and their feelings. It is very important for children and their parents to understand each other to have a pleasant atmosphere at home. When children learn to openly share their feeling with their parents, only then they can place one step ahead in life. If they do not share, do not pester or force them to reply to your questions. Give them space to grow, while keeping an ongoing interaction with them. Lack of interaction can lead to suppression and they may lose their interest with people and activities. So, parents please keep an eye on that aspect as well. Now that is not too much to ask for, right parents?

Pokharel is an educationist and author of several children’s books

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