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A Summer Guide for Parents


Shobika blogSummer vacation is here for many families; a time for parents to bond with their kids or go on summer trips. For some parents, the couple of months in the year that make up the summer vacation are nothing less than nightmares! This is probably true especially for stay-at-home moms who are used to having some time off for themselves during an average day when the children are at school. During the vacation, however, they end up being with their kids all day long and though the bonding is appreciated, sometimes parents crave for their ‘me’ or quiet time.

In my sessions, I come across several parents who voice a concern about schools closing for the vacations. And as much as they are looking forward to spending quality time with their children; most parents worry about how to keep their children busy?

Why is keeping kids busy during summer vacation important? Why structure their holidays at all? Although it is good to give children free time to explore themselves, a little bit of structure is always good. If there is no routine for almost a month or two, it would be difficult for the kids to go back and adjust to a strict routine once the schools reopen. Also, having a rough guideline about what should be done during the holidays helps children remain focused, gives them a sense of accomplishment when certain tasks are finished, minimizes quarrels among siblings, and also gives parents some time off to attend to other activities.

In today’s times it is fairly easy to keep children occupied during long vacations, especially with all the fun and attractive summer classes around. As parents, however, you need to make sure not to overdo this, that is, try not to send your children for every class you hear about. A safe option is to do some background research about the classes, sit with your children and discuss about the various options, discuss what skills your children would like to pick up in the summer, and then enroll your children. Another good idea would be to join a class meant for both parents and children so that there is increased bonding while learning something new. It will also give your children a feeling that their parents are not just trying to get rid of them but genuinely want them to use their time constructively.

For some parents it may not be possible to structure their work leaves around their kids vacations and therefore, long trips to someplace new may be difficult. It is, however, much easier to take short trips during weekends. You can plan these holidays together and let your children give their opinions. Short trips not only provide quality bonding time, but are also easy on the pocket. What’s more, you can take several of these short trips during your children’s vacation time.

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Shobhika Jaju is a NET qualified psychologist who would love to be reborn as a shrink every single time. She is the founder of Silver Linings: Guidance & Counselling Centre, in South Goa, & hence is effectively putting her love for psychotherapy & her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology to good use. Shobhika also works at Little’s School, Fatorda (Goa) & writes for several print and online media on a regular basis. She facilitates workshops on topics promoting personal enhancement & spreading mental health awareness. She is affiliated to the American Psychological Association, Bombay Psychological Association, Goa Psychological Association & the Movement for Global Mental Health. Her website can be accessed at silverliningsgoa.com.


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