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Rejuvenating Vacations

Vacations are meant to relax, rejuvenate and refresh, to bounce back to normal routine with fresh, renewed energy. It is the time to unwind. Vacations add spice to life which would otherwise become tiring, boring and may be depressing. So grab the opportunity and make the most of your vacation.

Kids need a break from studies and everyday life. School, studies, tuitions, all stress out the kids and they eagerly wait for the holidays. Vacations are important to recharge the body and mind. Kids grow healthier during long vacations as the mind is free and they get the required amount of physical and mental rest. Remember your school days and the summer vacations? When school was about to reopen after the long vacation and we had new books, we would study all the new lessons all by ourselves before school started. Because the mind was fresh and happy after the vacations, these first chapters were so easily learnt and we remembered them best and for long.

Plan out vacations for the kids in such a way that they have maximum opportunity to be what they actually are- KIDS! They should be free to do what they like, laugh, dance, run and play. Of course freedom too has limits! You have to plan out to allow them a healthy freedom.

Here are some tips to de stress the kids during holidays-

1. Hobby classes- Vacations are the best time to pursue hobbies. There are certain things to be followed when deciding on which activities the child will join. First, enroll the kids in activities which they enjoy and which they themselves want to learn. Do not push the child into activities which they do not want. Second, prefer those classes that teach one activity at a time, so that the child can concentrate on one thing and thus learn it thoroughly. Now-a-days, many summer camps are organized which provide a package of several activities together within a certain fixed amount. It appears attractive but the child does not really learn anything seriously. Such classes are mostly to pass time. Third, if possible, find classes where the atmosphere is homely and the teachers are child friendly; something different from the strict, disciplined atmosphere of regular school; a place, a teacher, where the kids would love to come every year.

2. Stay at home with the kids- Share the fun of holidays with the kids. Take leave from office for a week or two and enjoy with the kids. Play together, cook together, do art and craft, origami together, read lots of story books together, go to parks, swimming pools, library, planetariums, watch the kid’s favorite cartoons together. In short, go back to your own school vacation days and do all the things that you did as kids; play all the games (board games, indoor games, and outdoor games) that you played as children. Kids will simply love you for having fun with them freely. This time that you share with the kids value much more than any gift in the world.

3. Sports activities- Sports are both healthy as well as fun. Vacations are the right time to learn a new sport that kids are interested in. They can enroll in various sports clubs/camps like tennis, table tennis, cricket, badminton, horse riding etc. Swimming is a great way to health and kids simply enjoy in the water in summers. They learn an essential life skill, swimming, as they play and enjoy in the pool.

4. Holiday homework- Make a time table/routine for the holiday homework. Fix a time for the homework, preferably in the day time or afternoon when the children cannot go out to play in the hot sun. Fix the length of time according to the amount of assignments given. Try to finish the homework early, may be by the time when at least one or two weeks of holidays are still left. Let the kids enjoy the last week of the vacation fully without any formal studies/school work.

5. Sleeping and waking time- This is something which should not be disturbed much during holidays. Maintaining a fixed routine of going to bed and waking up is healthier. While the kids should go to bed maximum by 10 PM, they should get out of bed by 7 or at the most 8 AM. Ten hours of sleep is sufficient. When kids have to reach school they have to get up by five or six in the morning. This can be relaxed to some extent. But going to bed late and then sleeping till ten or eleven is unhealthy. The old saying ‘early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ will always remain true.

6. Outstation trips- Go to the hills, go to the seas, and explore the hidden waterfalls and the wildlife. Go away from the noise and humdrum of city life and connect with nature. Or visit your parents and relatives and connect with your family and your roots. The journey, the new places and faces connect us with God’s beautiful gifts. It gives us a reason to live, by showing us the many ways in which God showers his love on us. The kids are the most excited about packing and journey. When they return they have a treasure of beautiful memories and knwledge for life.

7. Fixed time for TV and video games- No school, no studies, does not mean freedom to watch TV or play video games whole day. These should be for a strictly restricted time.

8. Play outside with friends- Evenings of summer vacations and sunny daytime of winter vacations should be for free outdoor play with friends. Let the kids run around, cycle, climb trees and walls, play whatever they like, consuming their boundless energy. These carefree childhood days they will cherish all their life.

Vacation should be like vacations. Let the child relax and enjoy in a creative and healthy way with lots of fun. Let them paint all day, let them read story books whenever they like. Enroll them in activity classes, but do not put them in so many activities that they don’t have any time to be themselves.

Breaks are an essential part of life; it has a healthy purpose – to de stress the mind and body. A happy, stress free child will be a better learner and will score better in practical life. So have a very happy, fun filled vacation!

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