That time of the year is here with us again, children are back for their second term holidays. It is a time where we have to deal with different issues concerning our children, especially for those whose children are in boarding schools.
It can be a hectic time for parents whose children are in their teen ages because it can be hard to strike a balance between satisfying their needs, and keeping them on check from undisciplined behaviour.
However these issues can be dealt, with if planned well in advance.
For parents who are young, all that is needed is to find ways of managing your children’s’ free time and prevent them from being bored.
Towards the end of school holidays, children may start to say they feel bored and “there’s nothing to do”. The excitement of starting the holidays has worn off, any new toys are no longer so interesting, and money may be getting short.
However, as a parent the holidays can be a time when parents decide that doing things with their children will be a priority and they will use the time to get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company.
Children love doing things with parents. As a parent you should always try to arrange some individual time with each child if you can, as well as family time.
This helps build good relationships and helps your children’s self esteem and this can be valuable in the child’s future.
Manage the chidren’s time to prevent them from boredom by doing one different activity each day and this will help keep the children interested and looking forward to it. Remember children do not need to be ‘entertained’ all the time.
Just a change of place or a few suggestions can help them to be very creative on their own. Sometimes, saying “I’m bored” is another way of saying “I want you to play with me”, and sometimes the child has not even started to try to think of what to do himself.
Inspite of holidays being a time for children to relax, they should also not loose touch with their books. Atleast an hour or two hours a day should be spared for the children to do their homework.
After the homework, play card games or board games, but remember that young children have not yet learned to be good losers.
So they need to have some wins. For parents who have teenage children, the challenges can be greater because, more than ever before, teens are constantly under pressure to drink while they are on holidays. Most teens who overcame the temptation to drink during school session, fall victim to the act while on holidays.
Parents can no longer understand why there are increased reported cases of teens getting drunk in parties, during holidays. Holidays present an atmosphere where teens feel more relaxed and free.
There is no more pressure from mom and dad to read. Therefore, they become easily prone to pressure from their peers to attend parties.
The problem is not in teens attending parties, it is in the nature of the parties they attend and what is done there. There is hardly a party today where drinks are not served.
Therefore even if a teen does not drink, he would be forced to do so in order to belong. He will want his peers to have the impression that he is not mummy’s boy.
To prevent your teenage children from falling in the trap of peer pressure, try to take the hype out of the holidays.
Talk to your children about the true meaning of the holiday season ‘ this will vary, depending on your faith and heritage ‘ and get them to help you find ways to simplify the holiday season. Always emphasize family traditions, or create new ones just for your kids. Routines and rituals are comforting to most children and help to create lasting, happy holiday memories.
Due to the tradition of extended families in Rwanda, parents in Rwanda tend to make the mistake of making their children visiting virtually all their relatives during the holidays.
This can be a nightmare for everyone involved and a single destination visit probably to grandparents up country would be preferable.
Dont forget to include your children in holiday planning sessions, and let them know the final details well in advance.
This will give them a chance to prepare themselves emotionally for the visits, dinners and other running around of the season.
And this keeps them busy from engaging in distractive activities. Dialogue is also important because without it, your kids might become rebels in the home.
As parents, we can only hope our child can make the tough decisions on their own, but they must remember they can always come to us for advice, or even to other adults. Peer pressure will be with us until the end of time.
However, we may be able to cushion the blow by talking with our kids. We might be too old and out of date in their eyes, but having the chance to talk can be crucial. Lastly, encourage your children to be religious.
Religion is a good way to keep control of your kids. Nothing puts more fear into young children than God. That is what people invented him for.