Children love the long holiday and so do their parents. However, looking after the family 24/7 for such a long period can have its challenges and may not always be without a bit of added stress.
Being disorganised can cause stress right from the first day of the holidays. So, one of the key things to aim for is planning. A weekly plan of proposed activities and meals can help.
Sharing it with your family, will let them know what to expect and could help you organise yours and their holiday time more easily, for greater enjoyment.
During the summer holiday, this alone may be your biggest challenge! You and your children are out of the "school routine" but freedom from a routine for too long may not always be as good as it sounds.
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid some stress:
If it's necessary, set up any child-minding with family, friends or neighbours well before the start of the holiday. You may still need to go to work and you don't need to stress out over this extremely important matter.
Inviting their friends to come over and play with your children can be an excellent idea, as when children play together they may need less attention.
Obviously, it depends on the age of the children but should you have older children too, they may also help supervise - perhaps with the promise of a reward at the end of the holiday if they help you out regularly.
Without the school routine to stick to, you may find you can now be a little more flexible over meal times.
So, give yourself and your family a window in which meals will be served, in order that their play can be less restricted and you have less of a deadline to meet. Barbeques are always fun and can get you out of the kitchen a little more to enjoy the warmer summer weather.
Food doesn't always need to be of the cooked variety if you choose a picnic style meal - even if it's just in your garden or the local park.
Organise a fun routine for them in the mornings so you can get those vital household tasks over and done with early on.
For older children, this may be the time to teach them to make tea, toast or prepare breakfast in the mornings to help you with this job. Children may actually delight at being trusted with new "grown up" tasks.
Preparing for a holiday abroad or away from home can be more stressful than it may seem.
However, planning and organising ahead by using lists can help. Why not play a game with your children where they have to help compile a list of all that needs to be done and taken with you?
It will also help them understand what goes into a holiday and may make them appreciate it a little more.
If you're going away on holiday by plane, have a look at our Guide to Flying to get some useful hints before you go.
Planned days out, if the weather permits, can be stimulating for everyone - especially if they involve things like spotting birds, trees and wildlife while out walking. Perhaps you could try rock-pooling if you live near a suitable beach?
There are plenty of "what to do when you're out and about" type games available online, so you should easily get some stimulating ideas.
In poor weather games and craft making ideas can be fun. They can be simple and cheap, a kite can be made from sticks and a bin-liner and then flown when the weather is better.
Start a big family-sized jigsaw at the beginning of the holiday and challenge your children to finish by the end of the first week. If this goes well, repeat. Jigsaws can be bought very cheaply at charity shops, so it needn't be a costly exercise.
Try to arrange days when others will look after your children and then reverse the arrangement. It's your summer too, so you deserve some "me time."
While your children's bedtimes might be a bit later in the school holidays, at least it's summer and the longer days could give you the chance to relax later in the evening.
Take it in turns with your partner to look after the children, if it's possible. Sharing responsibilities allows you to have some time off, to read, relax and sunbathe or simply get out on your own or with friends for a while.
Perhaps this is the time to get your children interested in the summertime events you love? Think about Wimbledon or any of the various music festivals that take place during this season and encourage them to enjoy what you enjoy and everyone wins!
Managing your family during the school holidays, however, is no push-over. There may be those times when you can get stressed.
Stress doesn't just put you in a mood and cause tension. It can cause tiredness and may also be associated with heartburn and indigestion, so if you find yourself suffering from either or both of these common conditions, check your lifestyle and your diet.
Eating quickly or on-the-go can cause heartburn and indigestion
Fatty foods and big meals can bring on both conditions
If any of these apply to you, try to cut back a little, and try eating more summer salads and fruit.
Also, think about eating smaller amounts more often, rather than big meals. Make that lovely barbecue food last throughout the afternoon or evening, rather than eating a big portion all at once.
Importantly, try to de-stress. Take the time to sit down to rest and enjoy the season. It’s not with us very long - you deserve to make the most of it too.
It's tempting to indulge a bit more than usual during the summer holidays which can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Remember, if you do suffer from either then Gaviscon can help. These conditions don’t have to spoil your day. So how does it work?
Gaviscon is effective for both heartburn and indigestion. It gets to work instantly to create a physical barrier in the form of a raft (or layer) on top of your stomach contents.
This helps to stop acid refluxing into your food pipe. It lasts upto 2X longer vs ordinary antacids.
Should you find your heartburn or indigestion symptoms are getting worse or a lot more frequent you should make an appointment to see your doctor. Children under the age of 12 should only take Gaviscon under medical advice.
Always read the label. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist.
Article published January 1st, 2020