The Summer holidays are here and while we all have visions of our kids playing happily outside, frolicking in the garden and persuing water sports, for many this is not always how it turns out! Watching TV, using the internet or frantically communicating using our thumbs can often take over as the prefered activity for young people.
So what can we do to give our kids a good balance over the holidays? Here are my top tips
* Create some rituals to acknowledge what they have achieved in 2014. Sit together as a family and draw, write, collage out what the year has been like and what each family member has achieved, focus on strengths like how they managed certain situations and what they have learned about themselves. Then have a celebration of some sort (Yay, celebrations!!)
* Make a Plan! Print up or draw out a planner for the holidays with space to do all the things you want the kids to do (and some of the things they want to do.) If you are okay with them having some screen or phone time then put it in but limit it to what you are comfortable with. Make sure to put in time to be active outside everyday, time to look after yourself (this helps your kids see that self care is important) and all the other things you would like to fit in to do together (baking, craft, playdates, whatever floats your family’s boat).
* While we are on planning…………Think about positive steps towards a happier, healthier 2015. A great start can be just doing some of the things you have planned for January! Be the parent you want to be and the family you choose to be, just by doing it and being it.
* Get to know your kids again. With the kids at school all year and parents being busy being parents, we can sometimes become disconnected or out of touch. Putting on the TV, computer games, social media can perpetuate this disconnection, so if you have time off too, make the most of it and just be with your kids. Make a day trip to the beach or the hills, pack a picnic and just talk and STOP RUSHING for a bit. Stay at home for a day in your pajamas with all screens off and you will be amazed and what your kids end up doing or playing and the stories they will end up telling you.
* Organise lots of time for your kids to be with their friends face to face if possible, this helps to keep them off social media. This generation of kids need that instant connection to each other and face to face is always best.
* If your kids are spending time online or do have access to the internet or a mobile phone they should come along to my workshop in January! The workshop has been designed to help kids learn to be Smart, Safe and Supportive Online. A workshop for 11-14 year olds to explore what these 3 S’s mean when it comes to communicating via text message, social media, interactive games and web chat. There will also be 30 mins at the end for parents
Peace, love and Summer fun,
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