Half term break

When the kids were younger, I used to dread the school holidays. All that time stuck with the kids. What would I do with them? How would we make it through the day?

But now I love the school holidays. We don’t do anything. And that’s the best bit about it. Doing nothing equals no pressure equals a happy family. And after a few weeks at school we all need that.

The school holidays aren’t just a break from school. They’re a break from Cubs, Scouts, Rainbows and dancing. And a break from work for me. Not a complete break, I don’t have a bottomless pit of annual leave but I get to take at least some of the time off.

So we get up a bit later. They watch the telly or play on the Wii. They get dressed between 9 and 10. But they don’t go to bed later. In fact, without the coming in late from activities thing, my daughter gets to bed earlier. Which is a good thing.

And then we go out for a walk. It might be a practical walk to the shops, or it might just be a walk for the sake of exercise and fresh air. It clears the head, fills the lungs with lovely cool air and lets them run off a bit of steam. Or they can scoot off a bit of steam if they prefer.

We go to the cinema. We go swimming. We even do a bit of homework. How mean am I?

Two days of this is all it takes for me to see a really positive change in my family.

Because I’ve been struggling with my eldest lately. He seems to make less and less sense to me. He’s distancing himself from the rest of us. I try to talk to him, but I get nothing back. He doesn’t want to engage. Or he can’t. When he speaks it’s a mumble. It’s hard to tell what he’s saying.

Unless it’s something about how ‘rubbish’ year 2 is and how ‘babyish’ something my daughter has done is and how he can do so much better. I can hear him loud and clear then.

The digs at his sister, and even his brother, are almost constant. And I don’t know what to do with him.

It turns out all he needs is to watch telly while he eats his breakfast, get dressed later and go for a walk with his family.

He’s started having conversations and making sense. He’s started speaking clearly. And he’s stopped having a go at his brother and sister.

There’s obviously a whole other, bigger story there for me to unravel about why he behaves the way he does and what I can do to help him through it. But right now, I’m just grateful that half term has given us a break and given me my boy back.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Half term in your house sounds lovely. I am a grumpy eldest who constantly sniped at siblings and if I am honest a lot of it, for me, was jealousy. I am sure your eldest is very different from me but some one-on-one time doing something of my choosing with my parents/mum would have been lovely, rather than feeling that I was always the one that had to be the responsible oldest child whilst I felt like the youngest was being fussed over. Boys are so tricky but as a girl that is what I would have wanted.

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  2. During all my school holidays I largely had to entertain myself as both my parents worked in the shop where I lived. I never complained about this, I think it is important to know how to amuse yourself without needing to be taken on trips every day, and I can honestly say I have never once been bored in my entire life.

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  3. I love school holidays too. We’re away next week to have some much needed family time. But even when we just chill at home it’s a chance to get up later, veg, mooch about and do stuff together we don’t normally get to do. The kids definitely need a break from school and frankly so do I!

    So I am totally with you there.

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  4. Doing nothing sounds heavenly which is exactly what I will be doing next week! Nothing and nothing! My OH drives me crazy with his ‘lets do lots of stuff’ plans and sometimes I just put my foot down and say no as we all need a rest and then if we feel like doing something, we can

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  5. I LoVe doing nothing like that for a few days. I think it makes all the difference someone’s just to switch off and be together doing nothing but being. The last time we did that in our house was during the Xmas break and it was so bliss! Hope you have a really fantastic rest of the week off doing Nothjng!

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  6. I am looking forward to half term next week for all the same reasons, let the kids be kids and do family stuff with out the influence of school and clubs. I’d say with your eldest it is an age and peer pressure thing that obviously melts away with a break from it all. Roll on the Easter Hols next!

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  7. That sounds so nice. No pressure, no fuss, just relaxing family time. I used to enjoy that when I was younger – popping in to town with my mum, bit of baking, going to the library. You don’t always have to have a schedule full of activities to have a nice time together.

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  8. Thanks very much for your comments, everyone, I really appreciate them. Sometimes I feel guilty or that I’m letting the kids down by not taking them on day trips, but I think they are just as happy, if not happier, without them! Day trips bring their own pressures – travel, getting organised with food and drink and waterproofs etc. You can’t be sitting in front of the TV if you’re going for a day trip!
    James – I am very impressed that you’ve never been bored! That is a very useful skill to have.
    Combe Mill – I think you’re right about my eldest. I wish the pressure was never there on him, but hopefully he will be able to deal with it better soon as he gets used to it.
    Nikki – my husband is the same. If he was off with the kids he would be packing them off for a big day out. They love it, but they’re happy just chilling out too.

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  9. Not til next week for us, I really enjoy it too. School weeks I seem to never have time for a whole conversation with the big two- too much to squeeze into too few hours. As for your eldest- it is a medical fact that teens/pre teens function better with later starts!

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  10. I couldn’t agree with you more. We have just had the laziest week, spent an hour and a half doing playdough one day, bathed all the dolls, read loads of stories, made snowmen – all the things we don’t have time for in a normal week. It’s been great not to clock watch and really chill out. I definitely recommend chilling out for a shorter school holiday :o)

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  11. It’s lovely, isn’t it, Catherine? It’s nice to go away or on out for the day, but chilling out is great too.
    I know what you mean, Sonya, some days I feel I hardly see or speak to my kids, which is very sad! Not looking forward to when eldest needs even later starts!

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