I don’t know about you but this year it doesn’t quite feel like it’s time for the summer holidays . We have just completed our first week of the summer holidays and it feels like most of the last 4 months. Both of us at home, me working and my son on his computer. The only difference is he’s not doing online lessons now.

I know I’m lucky that my son was having online lessons and willingly engaging in them. I haven’t had the stress of trying to teach him. Whatever you’ve been doing school work wise I think it’s important that we change the routine a bit for the holidays as a clear delineation between school time and holidays.

Like many I’m working from home (which is my usual) but I do change things a bit in the holidays so that I can spend time with my son. Although, spending time with his mother is not always his first choice!

Here are some ideas to help ease you into and through the summer holidays:

  1. Have a plan.  If you have a plan of what you are going to do it takes away lots of the stress.  The plan will depend on what works for your child. No two plans will look identical and where your children have differing needs that does make it a bit hard to plan, but arguably more important. 
  2. Put a schedule up on the wall.  I draw out the week on a piece of paper and then put into each day what we are doing.  Our schedule doesn’t have loads of detail as my son doesn’t need that now but having it up helps him know what’s happening when.  I put the whole holiday schedule up a few days before term ends so he can see everything that is already planned.  That much detail / advanced notice doesn’t work for everyone so do what works for you. 
  3. Plan in your self care.  A few minutes a day reading, breathing or walking round the garden all counts and can be just as effective. Crossing something off your to do list counts as well.  It’s doing something that is important. 
  4. Build some down time into your schedule for all the family.  We have a PJ day every so often so we can both chill out.  Some kids need time daily, others struggle with unstructured time, so do what works.  I do think that chill out time is important so they can just sit and watch TV, draw, build Lego or whatever works. If we are constantly on the go it gets tiring. 
  5. As the world starts to open up again, decide what you feel comfortable doing and if you can do it.
  6. Don’t be afraid to say yes to new things.  You never know how it will go.  Our children are growing and developing all the time so new things can become possible. 
  7. Keep up the parental presence.  It’s easy for the change in routines for it to slip, but keeping it up will definitely help. 
  8. The return to school may be difficult for a lot of children this September. Schools are really aware of this and they will let you know the plan for returning as soon as they have it. Listen to your child’s worries and acknowledge them.
  9. Driving past the school a few times over the holidays can help as well, so that they know it’s still there.  It can also make things worse, so be careful with this one. 
  10. Relax!  Children sense our anxiety, so we need to be as relaxed as possible. 

We are living in uncertain times, and that isn’t always easy for us as parents, but try and focus on today and enjoy it. Your children will benefit from your time and having fun with you, whatever their age.

If you’d like help and support over the summer, the Connective Parenting Hub is there for you. I’ll be continuing to support all the parents in there over the holidays. For more information click here.