Kids Beat

KEEPING CHILDREN BUSY DURING THIS HOLIDAY

BY Asha Kyanika

Holidays are the time for fun and family, but it is also the time when sibling rivalry, power struggles and the like surface, creating tension for both parents and children. The root cause of negative vibes during the holiday season is boredom.

How can you keep your children engaged throughout the holidays? Here are a few suggestions.

Encourage your children to mingle with their peers. Whether you decide to go somewhere for a couple of days or choose to stay at home, encourage your children to make new friends, play and engage in fun activities. Mingling with others from their same age group will reduce tiffs among siblings at home.

Take your children on outings. For instance, you can go trekking with your child or simply go for a walk or picnic in the countryside. If your child loves to listen and learn, tell them about the flowers, birds and plants that you see on your trips. Several museums and galleries have programs specially designed for children. Entry is usually free and your child will be able to learn several new things. Another good idea is to plan a family trip to an amusement park or theme park over the weekend.

You can enroll your child for painting or music or dance classes. Choose an area in which your child displays interest and aptitude. Ask your children what new skill they would like to acquire, or whether they would like to hone their existing skills over the holidays. If your child seems interested, don’t hesitate to sign them up for lessons. It is a great way to remain engaged and to meet others who share the same interests. If you are not busy, you can enroll for something too. Learning a new craft and sharing the excitement is a great way to bond.

Several organizations like churches and clubs offer holiday camps for children. You can choose between day camps and residential schemes. These camps offer programs that involve art, sports, camping and outings. Before you enroll your child for camp, check out some basic facts like are the staff trained and equipped to handle emergencies, how is the reputation of the camp, how many children are enrolled and what kind of activities are planned.

Holidays are a great time for children to meet and spend quality time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, so take your children to meet family and friends over the holidays. It is especially interesting if they live in another state because children look forward to travelling, seeing new places and meeting new people. Such an outing is sure to be an enriching experience for your children and it also helps strengthen bonds between family members.

If your children are interested, let them join you in cooking or gardening. Girls love to help their mothers out in the kitchen and learn new recipes so, be willing to share your kitchen with them. Assign tasks as per your child’s age and chose recipes accordingly. If your child is a teenager, you can try your hand at cooking a gourmet meal, whereas, if she is a small child, go in for something simple like cookies or salads.

If both parents are working, you may have to arrange day care for your children. Even then, try and keep your weekends free so that you can plan activities.

Children are full of energy and curiosity. Keeping them engaged in different activities helps divert this energy in a positive and healthy manner. When children learn, make friends and do things they enjoy, they automatically become amicable and holidays become a fun time instead of one wrought with tension.