Gone are the days when British parents struggled to provide for their children; now we have become unable to resist giving them too much.
Too many things, too many choices, too much information… life gets too busy and too exhausting. And then we wonder why our children aren’t as happy as they should be.
This summer holidays I dare you to let your children be bored.
These endless-seeming weeks provide the perfect opportunity for them to daydream, to become absorbed in creative play but they can only do these things if they have the space. Boredom should not be regarded as a negative mindset – to be avoided at all costs –but as the catalyst for adventure.
Start by being brave and saying no to a string of play dates, summer camps and extra classes. Stay at home with no plans. Have a holiday in your own house!
Here are some steps to ensure a fun-filled staycation (with plenty of opportunities for boredom):
De-clutter the playroom
Reduce your child’s toys and books by a quarter. Put these in two big boxes and hide them away. This will be your hidden book library and a toy library, which you can rotate each week.
Tell your child they can play with the books and toys that are out this week and you will change them over for a new set next week.
Establish routines and rituals
Children like to know where they stand. Tell them the plan at the beginning of the day and stick to it.
Have a permanent craft corner in your kitchen/living room where your child can be creative whenever they like. Crayons, a paint palette, a bag full of clean recycling waste to make models, glue, playdough.
It is important to explain to your child that it is their job to help set this up at the beginning of the day and help clean up after they finish.
Set tasks and errands
Encourage your children to help you by giving them daily tasks. They can make their beds, help with the shopping and enjoy creating and cooking their favourite food.
Say no to screens
Turn off the TV, computers and tablets and do something creative… make a dressing up box … anything but screens.
However hectic your day has been, don’t forget to end it with some quiet time for reflection and gratitude. This goes for them but also for you too!