Striking a Balance between Time for the Family and Self

Family Group

Striking a Balance between Time for the Family and Self

We asked a couple of parents what they thought about the school holidays. Even though many are happy that they do not need to wake up early to get their children ready for school, some still see the school holidays as an extended time of chaos with the kids at home. Parents do feel the need to engage their children meaningfully, and often end up planning activities after activities to keep their children occupied. Many expressed that even though they take leave from work, June is hardly a holiday for them as they are busy and tired from managing the family.

If you identify with the statements above, we would like you to know that fun and rest are not just for your children. You can make time for yourself too! The June holidays can be meaningful and enjoyable for every member of the family.

Here are some important tips to get the family holidays started on the right note:

1. Prepare a holiday plan – preferably with the children

What do each of your children want to do during this holiday? What do you and your spouse want to do to rest and relax?

Some ideas for your family to consider:

- Find a book to read and do a book review or presentation to the family

- Learn a new skill together

- Pick up a new language

Sitting down with your children to make plans for the holidays builds up excitement and anticipation for a memorable time of family bonding. Giving each member of the family a voice to share what they would enjoy doing, helps to assure every person that their needs are heard and would be cared for. It would also allow for each member of the family to take ownership and be committed to making the holiday plan successful!

2. Set in place some routines or timetable

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy; all play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.”

Striking a balance is key to setting the right expectations for your children. Take some time to plan some routines for the month-long holiday. Use this opportunity to set aside some time for yourself to catch up on work emails or to have some me-time while your children are playing or learning in their room.

3. Plan for family activities

Most children look forward to family outings and it is through fun activities that lovely memories are formed. However, your holiday plan does not need to be packed with activities every day. One activity per week is sufficient for the kids to have something to look forward to.

Here are some activities for your consideration:

- A staycation

- Picnic at the beach or park

- Visit playgrounds – water parks or indoor/outdoor playgrounds

- Go for walks, hikes or cycles – from park connectors to parks, there are plenty of new places to explore around Singapore

4. Make time for each child (if you have multiple kids)

The school holidays are a good time to go for dates with each of your children. A one-to-one date with each child over a nice meal or activity makes a difference in showing every child that they are unique and well-loved. As much as your children enjoy time with the entire family, it means something special to have personal time with mummy or daddy!

5. Assign home responsibilities or chores for each child to manage per week

It can be tiring for parents to manage household chores on top of caring for the needs of their children all day. Assigning home responsibilities to each child to manage per week would help your children learn to take responsibility for their home. The chores can be simple tasks such as cleaning their rooms, setting the table for meals, or putting the laundry into the washing machine.

School holidays do not have to be filled with enrichment classes. It is a time for rest and relaxation, and for parents to spend quality time with their children. We hope these tips will help you and your family to have an enjoyable family holiday!

TOUCH Parenting aims to strengthen parent-child relationships by providing parents with relevant parenting resources through every stage of their parenting journey. It conducts informative talks and workshops which empower parents with knowledge on preparing for and raising a new-born, navigating the digital age with their child, parent-child communication, and nurturing resilient children and youths. It is also appointed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development as the Parent Support Provider (PSP) for Primary and Secondary schools in Singapore.