The holidays are here. A couple of decades ago (or just the one) you would have been the first one out the gate, laughing all the way to the bus as it pulled out and left the school hall behind. Freedom; sweet, seductive freedom and it was yours, even for a few weeks. The days flew by in a haze of long days down the beach, at the movies, shopping centres, friends places and family based trips to the middle of nowhere – it was wonderful to be beholden to no one, with no responsibility and plenty of sugar to get you through the insanity of your parents…But now, you’re the parent and you understand the same mythical detachment of mind your Mum and Dad glanced at each with, when you demanded another day out. Yep, the holidays are here and now it’s down to you to decide how your kids will enjoy their time off, without losing your last nerve in the process.
Have your little ones been streaming videos from themeparks.com.au on Youtube again? Pulling your leg or whatever extremity available to attain permission to climb to dizzying heights before plummeting to earth, pulling “heaps of G’s” and generally trying not to launch a lunch of Dagwood dogs, chips and ice-cream. Doesn’t that sound fun? Now, don’t fret, if your little one is around the late primary years, why not invite a couple of other parents too and make a day of it, catching up on the in’s and out’s of everyone’s lives while the kids chill out, spin in circles, and test their courage against thrill rides you KNOW they’re afraid of deep down? Pack plenty of sunscreen, take food made at home and enjoy a spell at Movieworld, Dreamworld or Wet ‘n’ Wild.
Giving back to the community is one of the most under-rated yet highly fulfilling activities an adult or child can do during their spare time. Contact a local animal shelter and see if you can organise a few hours a week for the kids to learn lesson or two in accountability, animal care and kindness, bathing puppies and kittens in need, feeding their hungry bellies and generally having an adorable time understanding the responsibilities of pet ownership. You never know, this may stave off those lingering requests of, Mummmmm, can we have a dog? Or at least guarantee they know what is involved in looking after our much loved pets.
If your child is a bit of a leader or a creative soul at the core, perhaps a stage-show will sate their curious spells and direct their energies into something a little bit different and highly enjoyable. Let them take charge, whether they would like to focus on designing costumes or organising little actors to fill their imagined roles, it’s about putting them in the drivers’ seat and letting them deal with consequences or complaints that may arise from their decision, incorporating play with another essential life lesson.
What did you do last holidays? Do you have any tips to share with your fellow readers? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Jessica Hannah