While it’s tempting to play the holiday by ear and just let things unfold as they will, this can set the stage for days of unmerited chaos and unstructured, unproductive activity.
Rather, it’s a good idea to set some goals for the holidays. This helps you to feel just that much more in charge of what is happening, and it helps kids to feel more settled (because mom is calmer). Setting goals will also give you direction with finances and will keep you focused on setting playdates and planning holiday activities. If you are going on vacation, it will also ensure you get the most out of your time away.
10 Regular Activity
Just because they are on holiday doesn’t mean they need to become couch potatoes. For moms of less busy kids or teenagers, this means monitoring time spent on video and TV games, and on the internet and social media devices. Going for walks and runs in the community might be a goal for you during the holidays.
Or maybe your child loves miniature golf or soccer or cricket or dancing? Why not pencil in some activity goals for the upcoming holiday on your holiday planner? (if you don’t have one, now’s the time to get one).
9 New skills
Most children enter the holidays blissful and ignorant of the extra work that must be done by mom to ensure things run smoothly. Sometimes the unstructured time can leave them a little moody, or bored, or grumpy—and then you must answer for the many hours they have on their hands, and help them come up with solutions.
Why not enrol them in a holiday course where they will learn some new skills such as making gingerbread houses for Christmas lunch or decoupage? Kids love learning new things and so many things are now available, through holiday programmes, and arts and craft schools.
8 Time Outdoors
There’s a reason it’s called ‘The Great Outdoors’ and not, ‘The Great Indoors;' too much time spent inside can dampen anyone’s spirit. For this reason, when considering the holiday ahead, why not diarise some time outdoors through scheduling outdoor activities and getaways?
Maybe arrange for a park outing with family friends, or check online for details on hikes or walks which will happen in your area during the holiday period? A picnic outdoors will also freshen everyone’s hopes and spirits and give the children the opportunity to run around outdoors and experience the beauty of nature.
7 Family Time
Life can become so busy that family members pass each other by, day after day, each caught in their own whirlwind of activity. Holidays provide the opportunity to spend meaningful time together as a family.
Make family time a goal in your holiday and deliberately plan outings and get-togethers for not just the immediate family, but for relatives as well. Events where the extended family are invited might not be comfortable for everyone but they strengthen and unite people and everyone is better for it at the end of the day.
6 Build Strong Friendships
Good friendships are invaluable for a child’s development. Also, spending time with peers in a healthy, wholesome environment will give your child plenty of happy holiday memories, and the opportunity to take snapshots which they can share with their class when school resumes. Make it a goal to deliberately organise ‘play dates’ (for the smaller kids), and friendly get-togethers (for the bigger kids). A pool, some pizza, and good music is all it takes to facilitate the building of strong friendships between your kids and their besties.
5 Healthy Nutrition
Just because it is a holiday doesn’t mean you have to let sound nutrition go out of the door. Why not use the stillness and rest of the holiday to freshen up on nutritional weaknesses in your family.
Get them excited about preparing healthy lunches and breakfasts during the holiday, and get them involved in the food preparation and cooking. You can even do weekly meal-planning, and because they have more time on their hands, they will be able to spend time baking and preparing food, without worrying about school and extra-mural duties.
4 Music and Dancing
Music and dancing are fuel for the soul and every house should be filled with these all year round. Sadly, the business of life often means that the volume of these gets turned down.
During the holiday, make it a goal to play quality music each day. Let kids have a turn to pick out the music they want to listen to, and make it a further goal to let your hair day (yes, your hair, mom) and dance and get a little silly with the kids. The music and dancing will change the atmosphere of your entire home, if you really embrace these with open arms.
3 Culture Vultures
Okay, so school is closed. Still, you don’t have to let everything go and refuse to learn anything just because it’s holiday. Why not endeavour to learn new things during the holiday with your kids as a formal goal.
You will know them and what they like so keep it within their interests and visit museums, or the theatre, or the library and find out more about the wonderful area and community you live in, and more about their designated area of interest. So, you have a ballerina on your hands? Why not go see a live ballet at the theatre? Or you have a baseball player? Go to the museum and see those historic baseball cards and signs baseball bats.
2 Plan For The Year Ahead
2020 is going to be a big one! How can you be sure? Well, because you are going to plan for it. Make it a goal to sit down with the kids these holidays and plan for next year, so that by the time schools go back, you have a month by month, goal-directed vision for the year. Write down what you want to achieve in terms of family, friends, health, sports, nutrition, learning, skills, dreams for the year and then break these into month-by-month goal milestones.
1 Make a dream board
This one is great fun and can commence throughout the entire course of the holiday. Kids can cut pictures from magazines or collect things over the course of the holiday, symbolising and depicting what they envisage for 2020.
Toward the end of the holiday, put these up on a board or on display and designate a specific area of your home for this ‘dream display.' Every day, revisit the dream to keep you on track and encourage your kids to do the same.