Navigating the School holidays

I expect most children and teachers are looking to the summer holiday break and the freedom from routine this can bring.

For parents this can be a great opportunity to spend more time with their children, come away from the treadmill of supporting with homework, activities, lunches, and clean uniform. All sounds lovely, but it can bring extra demands to manage which could feel stressful, overwhelming, or create anxious feelings.

If you are noticing when you think about the school holidays any tension, or panic it is good to stop and have a think about how you can support yourself. If you feel calmer and more rested it will help your child feel calmer too.

Here are somethings to help take care of you.

Limit the pressure – you do not need to constantly be entertaining through outings and activities. Enjoying each other’s company is more than enough.

Budget – it can be an expensive time so think of how much you can afford to spend. See where you can save maybe you can take your own food and drinks etc on days out, find some free or cheap activities in your local area.

Do what works for you – try not to compare with others. Every family has different budgets, demands and priorities.

Support – if you’re finding a feeling stressed and overwhelmed please consider who can offer the best support to you. this could be family friends or organisations.

There are some practical things that may help too.

Managing expectations

It can be helpful to think about what is realistic to expect during this time. For example, you are not in the same routine and time will be filled differently, where your child would have been occupied during the school hours and you would be working, or able to get on with other things this may not be possible in the same way, so think of what you can drop, or reduce. Being mindful what you are able to commit to an recognise you can’t do it all.

Boundaries

Boundaries are helpful to provide consistency for parent and child. Being clear can help children understand what to expect. This can help with managing difficult situations and avoid any potential worry for the child. Communicating boundaries is important, acting as a role model where possible is helpful too. For example, if you decide to limit screen time for your child, consider whether you can reduce your screen time too.

Saying no

It is OK to say no. This relates to both the expectations and boundaries you simply cannot do everything if you try this can often lead to feelings overwhelm. There will be times to say and mean “no” to those around you.

Looking after yourself

To put it all together if you are able to be realistic, review expectations, maintain boundaries and say “no” when you need to is looking after you.

Other ways could be to step away when you need to and ask for support from others when you can. Regular breaks are important to refresh this could be making sure you have regular meals such as breakfast and lunch as they can sometimes slip off. If it helps to remember if you run your battery too low, then you will struggle to keep up your energy levels. Try to remember you are as important to look after as your children.

You may feel helpful to think about some self-care activities you can even do these on your own or with your children.

#self-care #schoolholidays #expectations