Unruly, inattentive, unconsciously destructive, overly inquisitive even when it can hurt them, and most importantly, needy. These adjectives only touch the surface of what an average young child is these days.
Most parents with young kids, especially women who are housewives would admit that it’s really difficult coping with their young kids during holidays. Like one young mother of two little kids confessed, she felt her little kids who were perfect angels during the school year had been completely possessed by little demons from hell.
But that isn’t the case. For most little kids, being out of school and having so much time on their hands leaves a huge gap which they can’t fill, hence, an inexorable need to do all and everything that they come across. The onus then falls on parents of young kids to strategize new ways to keep these little kids engaged and happy.
How then can parents go through these holidays without it turning into a holiday breakdown?
The major issue with this is that most parents of young kids are disconnected from their younger selves and have forgotten how it feels to be a child.
In these next few steps, ways through which parents of young kids can thoroughly engage their kids during holidays will be highlighted.
1. Order and structure- The first place where most parents get it all wrong is when they let their young kids go through the holidays without a proper and coordinated structure. These kids are ending a school year in which there was a system of doing things at school and during holidays are left with so much time and so little to do. Having an orderly structure can be of immense help to calm things down a little and put a perspective on how things would work during the holidays. An activity calendar for the holidays that is strictly adhered to will in no small way help these young kids and their parents have a semblance of order.
2. Outdoor events- Creating time for outdoor events for young kids cannot be overstated. No matter how much order and structure you try to maintain, if there’s no time for fun and games, there young kids are bound to revolt. Who wouldn’t? Designing outdoor events to have fun and learn goes a long way in keeping young kids engaged and also helps to build up their mental wellness and intelligence quotient. In fact, like one father put it, a promise of an outdoor event is enough to keep his three rambunctious kids in check. Going to amusement parks, a day at the beach, visiting conservation centers are some of the outdoor events that can keep young kids engaged.
3. Summer camps- In this part of the world, the idea of sending young kids to summer camps hasn’t yet caught up with parents. Summer camps don’t just give young kids access to the opportunities to learn new skills they’d not normally come across in their average school year, but it also gives them the chance to make lifelong friends and build character both personal and communal.
4. Visiting local recreational centers is a very good way of occupying the kids and having fun. Activities such as swimming, gaming, window shopping or actual shopping, bowling, playing at the swings and other games will be sure to leave them exhausted. Be sure to carry a camera to capture your best moments. A trip to the beach is also a fun outing for the kids or simply take a walk around the neighborhood. Some other days, try seeing a child friendly movie.
5. Organizing play dates for kids is another activity that will help. Kids sometimes get bored with keeping the company of adults and their siblings. Having a friend over or setting up a play date makes the holiday a more enjoyable experience.
Other activities include : playing indoor games, baking simple child friendly recipes, sketching and painting and of course, if you just need to breathe, take them to visit grandma or any other family member.
While these ideas don’t necessarily mean you’ll have a stress free holiday (come on, you’re raising little kids), it helps to really make the holidays enjoyable for you and your precious little kids. In truth, holidaying with little kids is just one incident away from being a disaster or total blissful magic.