Holiday: Why you must keep children busy

The school holidays are here with us and a number of parents are just as excited as the pupils since this is a welcome relief from morning rush and weekend activities.When you want to experience how holidays are important to students, you just go to a boarding school during closing days. They are normally excited to break free from the school compound and the monotony of attending classes and other school activities.At home, the students have a lot of time on their hands, which, when they don’t use productively, may, to the extreme, spell doom to their educational journey. This is the time some young girls and boys want to prove that they are adults and engage in adult behaviours like pre-marital sex.
A student of Riviera High School helping young learners at Kigali Public Library. The New Times/ Courtesy photo.
A student of Riviera High School helping young learners at Kigali Public Library. The New Times/ Courtesy photo.

The school holidays are here with us and a number of parents are just as excited as the pupils since this is a welcome relief from morning rush and weekend activities.

When you want to experience how holidays are important to students, you just go to a boarding school during closing days. They are normally excited to break free from the school compound and the monotony of attending classes and other school activities.

At home, the students have a lot of time on their hands, which, when they don’t use productively, may, to the extreme, spell doom to their educational journey. This is the time some young girls and boys want to prove that they are adults and engage in adult behaviours like pre-marital sex.

Thus, it’s imperative that parents keep a close eye on their children at this time and ensure that they don’t lose focus.

And how do they do this?

According to James Otieno Otta, a teacher at Riviera High School, parents should have keen interest in their children’s daily activities.

“Parents should remain hawk-eyed and know what their children are doing at all times. They should ensure that the children are kept busy so that they don’t engage in any dangerous activities.”

He says that today, it’s not odd to see many teenagers working part-time as promoters or salesgirls during the holidays. “Parents with businesses should allow their children to work in their stores during this time. This will make the children not waste their time surfing the net which may not augur well with their education.”

He adds: “Teenagers should be given leniency to work during the school holidays so that they can earn extra income and their knowledge can be widened. On the contrary, it is undeniable that working part-time during the school holidays may affect their academic performance. Thus, teenagers should put in unremitting efforts to balance the need and the wants so that they can perform well in academics.”

Otieno adds that this is also the time the children can take part in activities such as sports, drama, singing to enhance their talents.

“Different children have different talents and it’s at this period that they should be left to do what they are passionate about. If your child is a budding football player, you should buy him football kits so that he plays with other children. This will not only keep him busy, but will go a long way in helping him nurture his talent.

It’s also at this time, says Otieno that parents should have a closer relationship with their children. “They can read to them, tell them stories and play with them. This will foster close relationship between the parent and the child.”

In order to limit the movement of the child at this period, Otieno suggests that the parent should invite the friends of the children so that they spend their time at home instead of wandering around the neighbourhoods.

“Apart from this, the children should also be allowed to engage in church activities such as singing, dancing and youth programmes. They should let their children grow together spiritually. They should attend church with them, and for the younger ones, allow them attend Sunday school.”

It’s at this time, he adds that the children should also be allowed to visit their relatives and stay with them. This, he notices will let them know their relatives more and enhance the family bond.

“But not just any relative. They should visit responsible relatives who won’t spoil them,” He warns.

Children should also help their parents with household chores like cooking, cleaning the house, and gardening. “This normally keeps them busy and ensures that they grow up to be responsible adults well aware of the value of work ethics.

“As teachers, we usually give them some homework to do during the holidays. The weaker students have the chance to catch up while others will learn more. Thus, parents should ensure that the children do their homework and limit TV or play time until the homework is done. They should also help them do their homework.”

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