After a hectic year of running up and down attending to your little ones’ schooling needs, one would wait for summer to sit down and relax a little. Summer is here and it is every reason to pamper yourself with loads of leisure activities, time to catch up on your sleep, travel, catching up with friends and relatives and spending your vacation in a unique and memorable way.
I am sure each one of us would have already made our travel plans, get- together, sleep over, party arrangements or simply choose to lay back and stick to our routine in a much more relaxed manner.
Your travel merry could be over, the sleep over and the get together will all be over soon enough but remember its summer time and the vacation is longer than any of your plans. Keeping your kids busy and making time for yourself at the same time will be a challenge, it could turn into an anger management live assignment for you.
One easy way out that most parents resort to is pushing their little ones to summer camps. Summer camps are a great way to keep your kids active and away from boredom. But is your kid not active when at home? Think again it is just that your kid is hyper active and you are unable to cope with it.
These summer camps sometimes innovative, many a times monotonous with the same structured classroom sessions of art, craft, cooking pottery and science classes buzzing in the whole of your neighborhood could sometimes turn your child off. Have you ever thought what your kids really want to do during free time? Have you ever asked them about it?
For the fear of an academic learning gap during summer and for the fear of being left behind in a society where everybody wants a super child we as parents try to focus only on learning all the time we are only seeking edutainment unaware of the fact that out-door play time is most crucial for a child’s mental, emotional, social development. It is during play time that a child learns sharing, negotiating, communicating, decision making, problem solving skills which forms an integral part of a balanced growth into adulthood. Playtime relieves stress for both adults and kids.
Your child could be playing with simple toys or simply messing around with household objects but remember to keep your cool and balance it out as he is only a child and is inquisitively learning about his surrounding. Play time especially out-door play time is not just beneficial but it is essential for a healthy mind and body. It is only during summer that kids get to stay home and enjoy their free time playing, eventually as they grow up the responsibilities and challenges only increase cutting down their play time. Finally when they take up a job and start working there is no looking back from the race. Essentially it is these golden years of childhood that one gets to enjoy with all that careless free time but I pity today’s children as they are the victims of organized activities and structured supervised institutions often curtailing their creativity and imaginative skills. For some reason parents like to believe that playing or crafting something complicated will empower their kids better and shun them from doing simple activities ignoring the fact that a simple observation of an apple falling from a tree led to a great invention.
Remember when we were kids we were never forced into any summer camps but were instead let out totally free allowing us to explore and have fun in our own unique way. The days were spent mostly on the playgrounds creating our own games and setting our own rules the afternoons were mostly spent at a friend’s house pretending out role plays playing roles of mom, dad and all other fictional stories that we had heard of. We would cozy up at night listening to a whole lot of stories from mom and dad.
We never bothered our parents for any play stations or internet games or any TV time but we socialized with our friends aunts grannies adapted to their friends and neighbors, engaged in activities that we never did through the whole year like cutting vegetables, press our clothes, clean up the house, wrap our books or simply went exploring the neighborhood. There were no phones and no follow up by our parents but we were home at the right time as we knew our responsibilities.
I am not saying that camp learning is bad but it is just that it should be sufficient enough to keep your child motivated and not become a burden for your child.
I cherish those days when a child was accepted in an’ as is’ condition and was allowed to be a child. We had lots of space to play around. No honking vehicles or the threat of being mauled by a stray dog nor getting knocked by a speeding vehicle nor had the fear of being taken away by a stranger. But today’s children are deprived of all that space, free time and most importantly their parents’ time in the right doses. With excessively decorated homes submerged in a whole lot of fragile show pieces and electronic gadgets our children are restricted at home and outside owing to space constraint in the name of modernization and development.
We cannot create space for them overnight but at least we could take our time out and spend some quality time with them by way narrating stories, playing with them at least for one hour (½ hour of indoor and ½ hour of outdoor activities), we could engage them by assigning roles and responsibilities, teach them how to shop, watch all the old videos or simply talk to them and share your experiences. Make a list of ‘do it yourself’ activities that you think would help them like planting a sapling, watering them, you could also ask them to paint the pots of those plants with their initials this would keep them busy for at least one hour.
Our children look up to us and learn from us but I would say that learning becomes mutual when you are dealing with a kid, many a times a simple question from your child could have you stick your head into a google search. The biggest thing that we learn from kids is ‘PATIENCE’ which we have to practice and put to use especially during summer.