DUMPING THE KIDS
Some weeks back, as countdown to the end of the school year began, my heart got mixed up in some wild, playful gymnastics, which my body could never have attempted doing. You see, I was excited and couldn’t wait for the much needed break from all the compulsory school runs I had been involved in all-term and all-year long. But then, as I again looked at the school calendar, it suddenly hit me that this was one, long holiday ahead of us. As in, I counted the weeks and goodness, I discovered that we were looking at over ‘2-months’ worth of holiday.
Now, considering the fact that I am a graduate, who was obviously once a student, this shouldn’t have surprised me. But because school runs for my daughter had began with a crèche that functioned all year long (save for a few public holidays), I had somehow failed to remember that in the real school world there is this amazingly long break that runs between the 3rd and 1st term.
Suddenly the terms ‘summer camp’, ‘summer holiday’, etc. began to again make meaning to me.
I could now understand why schools were making such a fuss about their day camp runs and I began to take interest in the different camp posters I came across. Unlike before, if a camp flier was left on my car’s windshield, rather than throw it away, I was more likely to study it. Yes, it all made sense because really, what does one do with a restless kid over a span of 10 weeks or so. Good enough, most of these camps accommodated kids from the ages of 2-11 and so that meant my daughter qualified. All I needed to do was enroll her and she’ll be off my hands for a better part of the holiday.
But as the days progressed, I began to have a change of mind; not as regards her attendance at the summer camp but as par my attitude towards the holiday itself.
Now, the hard reality is that we, moms, can’t suddenly go on a 2 ½ months break from work simply because our kids are on holidays and so, this idea of bundling our kids off to summer camp is absolutely brilliant. But then, it is equally important for us, as parents, to take advantage of the bonding opportunities the holiday also provides. Instead of spending all our time and money only looking for activities that will keep our kids busy away from home and from us, why don’t we also invest in activities that will foster bonding opportunities between us and them? The focus shouldn’t only be on ‘What should I do with my kids this holiday?’ but also on ‘How can I bond more with my kids over the holiday?’ Even if you have a kid who is behind in her academics and therefore needs additional lessons, who says you have to leave all the coaching to the lesson teacher? You can also practice with her and guess what? That’s another bonding time that you would have taken advantage of.
So really, what am I trying to say? During the term, these kids work so hard and spend so much time away from us. In as much as being out there is fun for them, they would still love to spend a better part of their time with us. In addition, in order for us to really get to know them and build their trust and confidence in us as they grow older and get more exposed, we also need quality time with them. Therefore, the long holiday should not be all about dumping them at one camp or the other. It should also be about letting them actually catch their breath and ensuring they enjoy more bonding time with us and the family as a whole because at the end of the day, that’s why the holidays were created.
In my next post, I will be sharing with you some activities you and your kids can together take on over the holidays.
So again, that’s just my own opinion. What’s yours? We would love to hear from you!