Holidays are often a time of relaxation. And an opportunity to spend more time with our children. Children acquire experience of emotional bonds, of belonging and of their own identity in the atmosphere and events in the family. Therefore, our time, attention and feelings should be given to our children. That way, we satisfy children’s emotional needs for love, acceptance and respect.
Holidays are a convenient opportunity for developing family tradition – the greatest benefit for children is the significance of mutual relationships in our lives. Being parents, we are models and children imitate our behavior, beliefs and so on. When we recall pleasant events, we had with our parents during holidays, we teach our children the appreciation of fundamental moments in life, we teach them how to make these moments special in their lives. In this way, children develop emotional relationships with the family members who they do not live with and remember the ones who are not with them anymore.
Between the third week of July through the second week of September is always the month of holiday; long vacation. During these months, parents are always bothered about how best to make the kids more valuable. It even becomes more difficult for those parents who actively are engaged in works.
Most parents are tempted to enroll the kids in holiday lessons while others believe that the brain needs to have some rest. While the idea of holiday lesson is not bad for parents who work and can’t afford to pay care givers to keep the kids busy with other things, this long vacation period should be utilized to bring out the best in these children.
SO HOW DO WE KEEP THEM BUSY THIS HOLIDAY
Some of these may work for you while it may not work for others, just check which could work for your kids
TAKE THEM BACK TO THEIR ROOT
Especially for families who live in the cities or far away from their villages. It time to take the kids to go visit Grandma, Grandpa and all the Grands related to them. you can never imagine the good this will do to you and the kids. You think they will get dirty, let them get dirty, you think they will get mosquito bite? Please let them get a feel of what life is like in the village. Let them change the environment. Enough of these processed foods. It time for them to taste Igba Oka, Fiofio, Okpa etc. let them follow grandma to the farm and see where those food are cultivated.
It’s a period to learn your dialect and culture. You don’t need to teach them, just interaction in the village and he or she will be perfect. What about your culture and festivals? New Yam is celebrated this period, it time for them to know how these are celebrated.
SKILL ACQUISITION: for kids who are of age and can learn some skills like sewing, baking, computer appreciation and a lot other can be taught to them during the holiday period. The benefits of acquiring these skills can not be over emphasized as these skills can be something that the kids fall back on when they grow up and are waiting for white collar jobs. You never can tell; these kids might develop passion for any of these skills and its never too early to introduce them to skill acquisition.
I once asked a tailor friend why she doesn’t look for white collar jobs and when she told me how much she makes from sowing and sale of tailoring materials monthly, I was shocked.
In case you are looking for a place where your children could enroll for skills in social media digital skills, web design, graphics design and so on, Flame media of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu offers courses in these areas.
READING: You know that things read for fun is better understood and retained than when reading for examination purposes. Why you may ask, one is relaxed when reading for fun. Good enough, there are novels for all ages. Doing this, they form the habit of reading and also build their vocabularies. You could from time to time, ask them to make a summary of what they have read and learnt so far.
Apart from novels, they could try reading text books of the proposed new classes. This could give them pre-knowledge of things to expect in the new class, they do this leisurely.
MOVIES: This holiday period could also be a time for the kids to go see movies. This could be motivational, inspiring as well as educational.
Since the holiday is over two week, you could draw activities for the holiday, a little here and there. You will be surprised how fast the months would have come.
There is no denying the fact that some parents are so busy with work that holiday lessons seem like the only escape route for keeping the kids busy during holiday, there is no denying the fact also that these parents have to do these works in order to provide for the family.
The parents should always try as much as possible to create a balance between their work life and the time with the kids, bearing in mind that bonding times for parents and kids is highly important, so that the parent don’t become ghost presence in the lives of these kids.
It is as well important, for parents to start creating this special bond with kids early enough as they grow and not shift all the raising responsibilities to teaches and caregivers. As a matter of fact, you should be your child’s closest confidant.
IT IS NOT
This holiday period is not a time for your children to be sent to the streets hawking all sorts of goods. Its not a time for loafing about or hanging out with friends. Put them usefully