Ok, so that sounds a bit over dramatic, but at times like this it can be! Grin.
I love my kids. Anyone reading my blog for a while now, will know that without fail.
However, I also like my own time. I'm can be quite selfish like that. And what I mean, is that unadulterated time where you get to choose what you want to do when you want to without having to think of anyone else. And I guess during term time, I get to do that. So by the end of the holidays, let's be honest, not only are the kids turning feral, we all are.
But for the next few days it's still school holidays. And if your kids are anything like mine, then they're getting ready to go back to school. They are bickering. They are bored. They are wanting to spend money. And they are generally ready for some structure.
So what I've found over the last few days is that they need a bit of structure in their play. They need a bit of adventure in their play. And, they need to be able to work it all out for themselves.
Here's an example.....
We went for an amazing walk in the bush. It was incredibly steep and by the time we finished we'd walked UP the equivalent of 38 flights of steps. HOWEVER, the kids loved it. They knew there was a beach somewhere down there at the bottom that we would all go for a swim at. They knew we had that as our goal. Also that we would have lunch down there. Another big goal! But I'll get to that in a minute. This was an adventure. Something we hadn't done before (or in a very long time). It was new to them. A little bit challenging. But also for me, it meant I got to exercise PLUS it was free!
Lunch. I got all the lunch items out. And all I heard were moans and groans. But as I left them to choose their lunch the moans stopped and they were happy. I need to learn they are growing up and can make a lot of decisions for themselves now. That the little bit of extra responsibility helps them and me.
So here's a couple of tips to help you in these last couple of days before school starts back:
1. Do something adventurous.
2. Give them some responsibility
3. Encourage them to come up with 'free' ideas that you can do together.
4. Be creative at home (my boys have spent the last two days making bows and arrows. It has kept them totally happy and entertained).
5. They've probably been spending a lot of time outside in this amazing weather we've been having (it's summer here), so it's ok, to let them have some down time. In fact I recommend it. Go to the library, get some books. Encourage them to read. Hire a movie, take a couple of hours out of the middle of the day when it's hottest and relax in front of the telly (not all day, but a couple of hours won't hurt!).
6. Get them to help you get them ready for school. Do you have all the stationary you need? Uniform? Shoes? Lunchbox? Drink bottle? Bag? Get them to make a list (with your help if needed) and then get them to work out what they still need. Then go out together and get those things so they feel totally prepared and ready.
7. Along the same lines, get them to do some baking that can be put into the freezer for their lunches. Ok, so they might not have done much before, but they will LOVE that they can tell their friends that made 'this' or 'that'. Plus it will keep them occupied for a good hour or so. PLUS, you get to teach them about cleaning up after (especially if they're anything like my bakers!). PLUS it's a cheap way of keeping them entertained.
8. Get them to google 'free things in ......' (your town), then get them to make a list of any that they might like to try. Go along. Check it out. Here in Auckland there are plenty of pools for the kids to swim in that are free. A great one is in Birkenhead, it's even outside. Or somewhere like the Art Gallery which had an amazing programme on this school holidays.
9. And/or to all the above. Just relax. Pull out the hose and get wet in your backyard. Go for a walk in your neighbourhood. Make daisy chains (yes, even if they are older, it's a great time to just sit and chat!). After all the fun over the school holidays, they might just be a little bit tired and need 'downtime' before they go back to school. Time to rest their minds. And in this 'go go go' world nowadays, it's sooooooo ok to do that!
Have a fun last few days.
Disclaimer: I in no way claim to be a parenting expert. I get it wrong all the time. These are just a few little things I've found that have saved my sanity on occasion.