The school holidays are here! Are you feeling happy to have the kids home, or are you already counting down the days until they go back to school? If you are like me, it's probably a little bit of both. These fun, carefree days are some of the most memorable days of childhood, but things can get a bit harried and stressful and I do sometimes find myself craving the routine that comes with the school year. Here are some of my best tips for cultivating a peaceful home during the school holidays. I hope they make it easier to parent with peace and actually enjoy family time during the school break this year.
When my children have breaks, routines tend to go out the window and often time my self-care routines are the first to go. If you find yourself slipping when it comes to things like exercise, eating healthily and enjoying your hobbies, take notice and pivot back toward self-care practices. I know that my own well-being makes a huge difference in how I parent, and the level of peace in my home. You know deep down what it is that helps you feel most balanced, grounded and at-peace as a parent. Whatever those things are, get out your calendar right now and pencil in some time to make it happen.
Don't Overbook Yourselves
Packing too much fun into one day is a sure-fire way to have no fun at all. Meltdowns and tantrums are usually the result. Children need downtime to relax, move their bodies, run around, and explore their surroundings creatively. Boredom is great for creativity! Plus, us adults also do better when we aren't over-booked.
Relax the Rules but Set Expectations
Holiday time is meant to be special. Even if you aren't planning a big holiday trip, you can make it a meaningful and fun summer by relaxing the rules and routines a little. I'm definitely not suggesting that you let go of all structure and routine - kids need structure to feel safe and grounded - but some extra sweets and a later bedtime won't hurt anyone. Make agreement in advance regarding household rules during the summer vacation. Post them for everyone to see so that everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them during the school break. These rules and some basic routines will provide the structure your family needs while still providing plenty of room for fun.
Make Sure Kids Know the Plan
Even though it's okay if routines are adjusted or done away with a little bit during the holiday break, it's still important that children know what is going on. The lack of predictability can throw even the most relaxed kids off balance. Sit down as a family and write down your plan for the day or week so that children know how to prepare. It's best if you can include children in making. the plan whenever you can so that they can maintain some sense of control.
Keep it Simple
The beauty of school holidays is that they don't have to be extravagant to be memorable or special. My wish is that you are able to slow down a little and enjoy this time with your kids with a bit more laughter, calm and connection. Focusing on these simple values and letting some of the other stuff go can go along way toward cultivating a peaceful schoo holiday.