Holidays with children; how to deal with it.

Children's holidays are very long, and many parents do not know how to manage their children's free time. In this article we will provide you a series of guidelines to deal with the family in summer holidays.

School holidays are the most awaited time of the year for the younger members of the family and when adults ask themselves the most questions: Should they revise their subjects even if they have passed everything? Should I give them homework? Should they read, practice sports or study languages? Can they get up at the time they want? ... Thousands and thousands of questions, which show the parents' concern over the possibility of their children losing all the discipline they acquired throughout the year and over a lack of routine completely destabilising them.  

This is why, at the end of the school year, doubts about how to face the summer holidays with children flood psychology practices. With the aim of easing this distress, we have compiled the main concerns expressed by parents and attempted to address them. 

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Recommendations for a summer with children

  • Homework and revising in their fair measure 

A few minutes a day will be enough if the aim is that our children do not forget what they have learnt. It is preferable that they enjoy the summer and take a breather instead of continuing with a studying routine similar to that during the school period. However, having them read is always positive and recommendable.

It is also a good idea to help children avoid the post-holiday blues by slowly getting them back into the school rhythm. So, mid-August is a good time to start introducing short studying periods no longer than 50 minutes, that is, if the previous school year was good. 

  • Balance between activities and boredom 

A phrase that parents really dread is: I'm bored!, as they take on this boredom as their own problem, starting to look for activities to keep them busy, which in a way prevents them from developing their creativity and learning how to structure their time. When children have not been set any activities beforehand, they start thinking about what to do, which is a way of helping them discover their own motivations. 

In other words, children becoming slightly bored is positive. Setting too many activities that prevent them from getting bored will not help them learn. 

  • A light routine 

It is not advisable for children to forget the importance of a routine like they had during the school period. When on holidays with children in summer, however, that routine should be changed and adjusted to the new circumstances. We should establish a casual order that allows them to enjoy the holidays while they learn from the things happening around them. 

In short, free time must be structured and organised. Following a routine is good, although some days without a routine can also be positive. 

  • Developing new skills

Summer is a good time to gradually give them further independence and encourage them to do things by themselves or with their peers. It is also a good time to gradually introduce them to household chores, such as preparing the table, cooking together and tidying their room, as well as to help them learn to take responsibility for the things around them. All these activities can continue during holidays with children.

  • Outdoors 

The summer season is perfect for children to socialise more and go outside. It is also a good time to shy them away from mobile phones, television, tablets, etc. and rather do activities in which they can enjoy the good weather. Going to the beach or swimming pool, extending nature outings and doing activities with other families are also a good idea. 

  • Family activities 

Summer is a good opportunity to spend more time with your children, get to know them better and have fun with them. Riding a bicycle, skating or practising a sport all together as a family is better than sending them out alone. 

  • Camps 

Camps are a good opportunity to encourage them to socialise and a good idea provided that they want to go. It is not advisable to force when they are under 10, as they usually have fears, but at this age and above they can be encouraged to go to places they like and are suited to their hobbies. Spending 10 to 15 days away is a good period for children above 12, but for younger children, three or four days is enough to slowly introduce them to going on camps. 

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Remember that...

The aim of holidays with children is to enjoy some rest, where a peaceful feeling and a good family atmosphere should prevail.Holidays with children are a period for them to experiment, enjoy, discover new activities and learn skills different to those learned at school. 


Mireia Galán

Article by Mireia Galán


Specialist in Clinical Psychology. Family and Couples Therapist - Consultant psychologist at Advance Medical

More about Mireia >

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