School’s out – getting through the Summer holidays intact

sunrise-153600_1280This piece was originally published as a guest blog on the Bayford Foundation‘s website in July 2014. However the tips from our Positive Care Programme staff are just as relevant this year.

The schools are breaking up and children’s excitement is mounting at having 6 whole weeks without school.

But what about the parents? For some the summer holidays can be stressful, exhausting – and expensive.

Have a plan of things to do over the next 6 weeks to help you cope. Instead of trying to fill every minute of every day – let your children’s imagination and independence grow.

Incorporating the Five Ways to Wellbeing – below are some tips to help you cope and take the next six weeks in your stride.

Connect –

School holidays can be an isolating time for parents without the structure of the school run. Make sure you stay connected; arrange play days with your children’s friends and invite their parents for a cuppa. Connect with your children too – plan a video day and watch their favourite films or spend a day playing board games.

Be Active –

Walking is free and excellent exercise. Visit your local park and enjoy a picnic. Ride your bikes. Visit your local leisure centre – many have reduced prices during the summer or special activity programmes. At home – have a disco; decorate the living room and play your favourite music. Play games in the garden or do some gardening.

Take Notice –

You might be tempted to fill your days with distractions but taking some quality time for yourself to sit and absorb the things around you will help you to appreciate what really matters to you and give you some invaluable quiet time to relax. Ask the children to put on a show for you and sit back and watch – take photographs and film it if possible savour the memories.

Keep Learning –

Try something new. Maybe your children could teach you something? That way they feel good too. Cook together – do some new recipes, bake a cake. The school holidays are an excellent time for taking on a new project – let the children redecorate their rooms. Read – many libraries offer summer holiday reading schemes which reward children for reading. Visit local museums and galleries; many are free admission and some run summer activities for children.

Give –

Do something for a friend – look out as well as in. Make an arrangement to have a friend’s children for the day so that they can get some time to themselves and then reciprocate the favour.

What are your ideas and plans for surviving – and enjoying – the holidays? Please let us know and we can share them with others. Contact us on 0113 2718277; office@touchstonesupport.org.uk or @touchstone_spt

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