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Supporting your child’s wellbeing during the school holidays

Supporting your child’s wellbeing during the school holidays

Julia Clements

Dr Julia Clements

Principal Educational Psychologist – Julia has worked with children, young people, schools and families for 28 years. Originally a teacher, she trained to be an Educational Psychologist in 1996. She has worked in mainstream schools, special schools and pupils referral units (PRUs), and joined Place2Be in 2013.

Place2Be’s Principal Educational Psychologist, Dr. Julia Clements, shares some simple tips and advice for making the most of the school holidays with your children.

We know that this year has been tough for many. Worrying world events and the resulting instability and uncertainty have sometimes felt overwhelming. In addition, the cost of living crisis has hit families hard, and as a parent or carer, you may be worried about the school holidays and how to manage them.

With this in mind, we’ve shared some tips to help you make the holidays as enjoyable as possible, despite the current challenges.

Connect to what is important to you as a family

With the cost of living crisis, there may be some family rituals and routines that will not be possible this year. It’s ok to talk to your children about this and to manage their expectations about treats, outings and gifts.

Talk to them about their favourite things about holidays. Sharing memories will help you get in touch with what makes time together as a family feel special. You might be surprised that your children may value the simple things, such as just spending time with you, and not only the big days out or expensive treats.

Be creative

Being at home over the holidays could be an opportunity to find a new creative outlet. Being creative is a great way for children and adults to express their feelings, thoughts and ideas, as well as being fun! You could get creative through cooking, art, junk modelling, dance, or any activities that make you and your children feel good.

Our Art Room team have shared lots of creative ideas for families on themes including nurturing self-belief, navigating friendships and celebrating diversity.

Explore activities from the Art Room

Get out and about

Fresh air, natural light and exercise can have a positive effect on our mental health. Plan some family time outside – daily, if possible. This could be a walk, going out on bikes or a trip to a park. A simple change in scenery can help improve your mood and can also serve as a valuable break from screen time.

Resist the pressure to entertain your children 24/7

It can be very difficult to hear “I’m bored!” from your children time and again during the holidays. However, when they say this, don’t feel the need to immediately organise something to help keep them entertained. Whilst you can help your children think about what they might do to change the situation (such as arrange to see a friend), they need to learn to tolerate their full range of emotions, including feeling bored from time to time. Occasional boredom may even spark some creativity in your children!

Take time to reflect

Holidays are a great time to reflect. It can be comforting to try and find positives, no matter how small, and celebrate them with your children. Why not have a go at making a display of photos or drawings of your family’s highlights from the past year or school term, and stick it on the fridge door?

Need extra support?

If you or your children are struggling, it’s important to talk to someone – a friend, family member, staff member at your children’s school or your GP. You can also find details of organisations that can provide immediate support here.

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