3 ways to stop dreading the school holidays

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For many people, the only times that you realise school holidays are actually on is when the roads are quieter in the mornings and the malls are busier. For parents, the school holidays can be something of a burden.

It doesn't make you a bad parent, just one who knows that you've got a couple of weeks coming up where you'll need to figure out how to keep the kids happy, healthy and entertained during that time off. So how can you stop dreading their arrival?

Try these three strategies to stress less about school breaks.

Plan activities you can all enjoy

While it's unlikely you'll be able to take work off during the entire holidays, it can be a great idea to let your boss know you'll be away for a day or two to hang out with the kids.

There's no reason why you have to be stuck watching Dora the Explorer on those days, either. Plan a few fantastic activities that you can enjoy just as much as the kids do.

For example, an afternoon at Playtime's arcade will be a stroll down memory lane for you and a fantastic gaming experience for the kids. Plus, a meal on-site afterwards will ensure you enjoy a tasty treat without having to cook (or clean up afterwards).

Encourage self-entertainment

Outside of the holidays, you've got plenty of weekends and evenings to hang out with the kids. During this time, do everything you can to teach and encourage self-entertainment.

This could be setting them up with a packet of chalk or a backyard cricket set and sending them outdoors, or discovering what kinds of books they enjoy and visiting the library to borrow a stack. The more you can give your child responsibility over their own fun during these times, the more he or she will be equipped to spend time alone during the holidays - giving you a much needed break.

Organise sleepovers

When you're a kid there's nothing quite so exciting as a sleepover at a friend's house. Packing a sleeping bag, a couple of toys and a few snacks and heading off on a night or two of adventures is truly the stuff of childhood. Plus, it gives the parents a break.

Plan ahead and talk to your child's parents about a few sleepovers in the upcoming holidays. While you'll have the kids over at yours a couple of times, they should largely look after themselves by spending time together. In return, you'll get a few nights and days here and there where you won't have to worry about keeping them entertained.

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