June holidays are here!
In fact, we would be at the half way mark by the time this post is published. How has it been so far?
Are you thriving?
Do you look forward to these long stretches of time with your children? See it as a time to re-connect and bond after the hectic season of school and work? Grateful that you don’t need to haul yourself and them up at 5am to get them to school on time?
Or just surviving?
Perhaps you dread these long breaks? Although you are glad to sleep in, you dread the thought of being with your children the whole day for one whole month! You look for as many enrichment classes or camps available, and sign them up for all, if possible.
With social media use so prevalent nowadays, it is common to see status posts by parents lamenting the onset of holidays. Here’s a compilation of parents losing it on Twitter as summer break starts.
I don’t like it. It is sad. It is sad that these parents don’t want to and don’t enjoy time with their children. What if their children read those posts? I am sure they would feel awful, rejected, and a burden. How does that make for a good relationship between children and parent in the long term?
Children ARE tiring
Yes, I get it that children wear us out and yes, children are tiring and babies are cumbersome, especially when they are 8 and below. But they are also a source of great joy when raised right. In fact, the Bible calls them blessings. If we don’t see them as that, we need to re-adjust our mindset.
As I was writing this post to encourage parents to look forward and not dread the June holidays, this thought came into my mind:
When we see them as burdens to be borne till they can be kicked out of the house,
they will also see us as burdens to be borne till we kick the bucket
and they can lay hold of our material possessions.
What a horrible way to see each other!
No more freedom
Yes, I do understand that the onset of the school holidays means that the freedom you had when they were in school is now gone. But since you knew it was coming up, you could have planned towards that and work around it. Too late for this holiday? Aim to do so for the next long break in November/December.
The June holidays are only 4 weeks long*. Besides, they are usually not home the entire 4 weeks. If your children are in the Upper Primary levels and above, it is highly likely that their schools would have scheduled remedial or supplementary classes for them.
Detox from school, re-bond with family
The long holidays are a way for them to detox from school system and re-bond with the family. If you schedule too many activities for them, they do not get to do either and you are now poorer materially as well.
Children need to detox from the pressure at school. And their peers. It is not only you who have to get used to them being home, they have to get used to being around you too. And siblings need to re-learn how to get along.
Downtime is necessary
But what if it is the children who hate the school holidays because they see it as boring? I say, GOOD!
They need to have downtime, to actually get bored. A child who does not know how to be alone and does not like being alone is not healthy. Being constantly on the go-go-go mode plus always needing to be stimulated is also not healthy.
Even this doctor thinks our children should be bored.
No enrichment classes???
I am not advocating that they stay home all the time, and I am not saying you cannot sign them up for enrichment classes or camps. But they need to learn to be comfortable with themselves. And yes, be bored. Sign them up for enrichment classes or camps if the activity is actually enriching and not just for the sake of doing so.
Bonding starts when they are young
Please don’t waste the holidays away. We need to constantly touch base with our children. In our busyness, it is easy to just fob them off so that they are not in our hair. I get it. I really do!
But we only have a very limited time with them. 18 summers is all we get as this mother reminds us, and then they move out. It is a very short time!
For us in the Singapore context, it may not be 18 years as we know of many adult children still being babied in their parents’ homes! But the point is that we don’t have that many years to guide and influence them, and to truly know them before they are launched out into the world.
Let us not waste these years we have with them – yes, I am telling myself that too! And don’t wait until our children are in their teens to connect with them. It will be much harder to do so.
Take this long stretch of holiday to re-connect with our children. Yes, it will be awkward and weird in the beginning if you are not used to it. But it is worth it!
Have you scheduled any special activities to do with your children this school holidays? A staycation? A short trip across the Causeway? Or a visit to faraway locations? Share with us!
*This applies to children attending our local public schools. We have 4 mandated holiday breaks for the children every 10 weeks. One week in March, four weeks in June, one week in September and six weeks in December.