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Ten ways to take the stress out of summer

04 Aug 22

The school summer holidays are upon us and time stretches forward to early September with the issue of keeping young people occupied and entertained.

While young minds might be celebrating that school’s out for the whole of August, lots of parents have a sense of anxiety, even dread, at the thought of so much time away from the classroom, with so little to fill it. But here are some pointers to help guide people through the next month or so:

Plan: Structure is really important to children, especially those with autism or ADHD, for example, and while you won’t want to recreate the whole school regime, having a schedule will help to plan your time – and, more importantly, theirs. Try not to over-plan it however as kids need a break and need time to unwind and chill out too.

Involve: Let the children have their say about what sort of things they would like to do. Have a brainstorming session where both you and they can make suggestions and map out a ‘to do’ list.

Find support: It can feel isolating during the holidays. Try to reach out to family, friends, childminders or summer camps for help with sharing the load. It could give you time to recharge your batteries.

Embrace: Get involved with your children’s interests and run with them while building on their strengths and helping overcome their weaknesses. We all usually enjoy doing things that we are good at and have a specific interest in.

Go outdoors: Get out, make use of the better weather and enjoy the great outdoors. The fresh air and being out in the open will do you a world of good. Try to limit time in front of the TV or other electronic device.

Be creative: Explore the wonderful world of arts, crafts, cooking and gardening. The kids may end up loving some hands-on activities and be able to savour the fruits of their labour.

Don’t feel guilty: If you are a working parent you’ll likely have work commitments to attend to and it is OK for children not have things all their own way.

Get away: Going on holiday with the family can be a challenge in itself with all the preparation and organisation that goes into it but the change of environment can be as good as a rest.

Rest: try to prioritise everyone getting enough sleep both for your health and to help build up the extra energy that you may need for all those additional exploits. When the cry of ‘bored’ sounds out reflect on the fact that everyone needs to get some much-needed rest.

Don’t break the bank: Not everything needs to cost you money. A walk in the park or going for a bike ride will cost you little more than a bit of energy.

Make memories: When spending more time with your children during the holidays there is more time to make your time together even more special and memorable.

Watch our video - Finding a balance: Support for Parents of School Age Children: Finding a balance: Support for Parents of School Age Children - YouTube

Other links:

Strategies for a Successful Summer Break - Child Mind Institute

5 tips for maintaining good mental health during the summer | Barnardo's (barnardos.org.uk)

Secondary school and young adult - HappyMaps

The ultimate Hertfordshire summer guide: 24 things you can do with your family around the county - HertsLive (hertfordshiremercury.co.uk)

The 49 best FREE days out you need to do in Hertfordshire - HertsLive (hertfordshiremercury.co.uk)

Get help with summer holiday childcare costs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Summer holidays | Childline

All the benefits and support for parents over the school holidays including food vouchers - Mirror Online


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