Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Parenting Files: School Holiday Routines

Photo credit: au.lifestyle.yahoo.com

This is probably the first time in many years where we have stayed home for the entire summer break.  It feels a little strange, and yet it is the best place for us to be right now and we are all enjoying very slow days of relaxing alternated with activities that we plan and enjoy together. 

One of the things that has haunted me over the years, as a mother, is the beginning of school holidays and the cranky behaviour of children trying to figure out what 'normal' is supposed to look like when no one is occupying and structuring six hours of your day for you. In the past it has taken as much as two weeks to accomplish some semblance of peace in the house!  When you only have two weeks that's not much of a holiday, is it?

At the beginning of these holidays I informed Mr Busy, particularly, that I was not responsible for entertaining him and that he should find some things he enjoys doing.  Besides playing on screens all day.  Thus, our household has settled into a routine of sorts.

First thing in the morning the kids get up and turn on the TV.  I know, I know.  But it's the holidays and TV will be out the door again in very short order.  It is definitely a treat to be able to do this!  If I wake early I go for a walk.  If not I don't.  Perhaps I should be more disciplined but I'm too tired to be too strict about it.  After 6.30am the sun is right in the wrong spot and not long after that it is often too warm.

By the time the TV gets turned off breakfast and dressing has occurred and the kids go off and entertain themselves for a while.  Mr Busy is always first to ask for screen time.  About an hour is the preferred limit for the day.  Yesterday I questioned him about whether first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon would work better.  He went away and thought and came back to inform me he would prefer to do that after lunch.  

There has been some homework (thank you VCE :(), lots of reading, some playing with Lego and cars, mucking about, playing with a nerf gun and I really don't know what else they do!  But generally it seems they have all managed to occupy themselves appropriately and without a lot of parental refereeing required!

Every now and then we need to go and do something to get out of the house.  It's inevitable!

Mr Busy, particularly, is going through some kind of early adolescent stage in which I think some positive time with Mum and/or Dad might be the antedote to his overbearing behaviour and moodiness.  I only really realised this after talking with a dear friend who has older children.  I think it might be time to get into the kitchen with him.  He's been pestering me, after all! 

After dinner there is sometimes a movie.  And after that it's off to bed, at which time Dh and I settle down to a few episodes of "The West Wing".  We are loving the box set I bought for Dh's birthday.  Perfect for a summer of nothing much else to watch! 

And thus is our routine.  Slow and easy.  Designed to refresh and renew the tired ones of the family.

1 comment:

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Controlling screen time is a major task in this household as well, and some days I'm more successful than others. I definitely find that getting into the kitchen with Will is a good way to get him unglued from the TV/computer.

We've been enjoying "The West Wing" lately, too, now that it's free on Netflix. It's a fantasy world, but fun!