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Vacations. They are wonderful for me for about half a day. From the time you turn off the computer at work, say a proper goodbye to colleagues, walk out feeling blissfully free, getting a drink, enjoying a relaxing dinner, getting a good night’s sleep, treating yourself to a long breakfast to around the time you pick up the newspaper and are preparing to head to an uninterrupted session in the bathroom, and you hear young, angelic voices ask, “what can I do now?” My usual answer is – “go ask dad” as I dash for the toilet before my husband figures out what’s going on. But this tactic only lasts so long.
The holiday season, like right now, can be one of those tricky times when you really wish school would re-open, quickly. All the more reason it’s important to plan the time off so that both your children and you, have a Happy holiday. While I truly believe in the benefits of boredom for children, I find that in reality that this requires a much higher level of commitment from me than I am able to provide in what I consider my time off. And yes, this can often deteriorate into unlimited screen time and irritable children along with frustrated parents. To avoid precisely that scenario, it’s important to plan their entertainment.
My two kids are very different. From when he could barely read, my son loved schedules. His days would be structured into 30-minute segments where he would help around the house including in everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, gardening. This was apart from scheduled segments for eating, playing, drawing, reading, watching TV, napping. For longer holidays, we sign him up for half-day activities – programming is the latest hit although I wish he played more team sports.
My daughter loves to chat, so I try to arrange as many social activities with her in tow, especially visiting elderly friends and relatives whom I do not get to see as much as I would like. My husband and I have also taken them into work with us here in Sweden, as we do not have help at home as we did when living in Delhi.
Pen and paper go a long way, as do activities that make them feel as though they are helping.
To sum it up: plan for a third of their day to be supervised activities (helping with household chores or arts and crafts), another third for structured work they can do alone, leaving the rest for boredom (best for when they are fed and rested).
This works for me
and I hope it helps you enjoy some uninterrupted time in the bathroom.
Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynecology