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How do you adjust to spending so much time with your children on holidays?
You just want to relax or get stuck into some holiday project – but your kids often want your attention.
Throughout the year if your kids have been busy at school or kindy and if you’ve been at work you’ve had your “space”. But on holidays for some families it can be a challenge to adjust to spending so much time together.
For these Christmas holidays, I got some tips from Julia Tyack from Tyack Health. To me, Julia is a wise and practical advisor – a mother of 6 and grandmother of 13 with so much friendly, good advice.
Here’s our chat:
Tony: From your experience, what are some of the challenges parents can face when they transition from work to being on holidays – spending so much time with their kids and vice versa kids getting used to spending so much time with their parents?
Julia: Parents shouldn’t devote all their time to children. This can encourage children to develop narcissistic tendencies.
Children should learn to generate their own fun. But during the year, the parents have been at work and the children have been getting “direction” from other people.
What can happen on holidays is that kids can get bored if they don’t know how to “self direct”. On holidays, parents often have had enough of the stress of the year and they just want to relax without interference and read that book they’ve been waiting to read all year.
The children because they are not “self-directing” can often keep interrupting. That can cause tension between what the kids crave and what parents crave on holidays.
Is this problem getting worse with more modern generations – or it is an age-old problem for kids in general?
I think today’s generation of kids has re-set the standard and they need a lot of attention. Kids seem to need more attention and parents are working so hard, they really need “parent recharge time”
I’d just like to say that I think that holidays should be a great “opportunity” for parents and kids. It’s a time of year for parents to have real quality into their kids’ lives. It’s an opportunity to learn how to connect.
This is a wonderful time to do things together with connecting activities that satisfy both the parent and the child needs. For example, it’s a great time to do that cooking activity together or do a gardening project together. Those holiday projects that both parents and kids can enjoy.
Last year my grandson and I worked on planting a sunflower and there was the excitement of planting it. Some of the kids grew veggies. One planted an olive tree. It’s great when you can occupy kids with something you like doing – whether it’s gardening or cooking or something else.
It’s also true that children love to grow something and to pick and eat it. If a child is “finicky” with their food they are more likely to eat something they have grown themselves and collected from the garden.
Wow! This might even be a time to get kids to eat some vegetables!
That can be a way to get kids to eat vegetables. I have a saying: Let them grow it, then they “own it”.
Tony: Yes, I know, when my kids are at school they have their friends to play with. On holidays, unless you arrange for them to catch up with friends – the parents are the playmates.
Julia: I found that children have very a different view of the world and I learned to change my view to their view. I learned to see the world from their perspective.
One of the best things I learned was that young kids don’t see adult household tasks as “work”. Teenagers might be a bit harder to engage and might need a bit more incentive!
Younger kids often see adult “work” as “play” and that’s why parents can get house work done and keep kids occupied if kids have their own “tools” like little brooms and dustpans or little laundry baskets.
Sometimes it’s a ‘treat’ for kids to get to use grown-up appliances – well supervised of course.
If you want you can get children to help in their own little way as you go about your work. You are getting work done AND keeping kids happily occupied!
As usual Julia gave me some interesting insights and tips I intend to put to good use this Christmas holiday! My kids get a lot of holidays.
Please feel free to add any tips you may have in the comments section – and if you think this post can help any of you family or friends please feel free to share it.
Thanks – and I hope you enjoy your Christmas break.