Half-term harmony: 3 ways to make half-term work for you!

It’s half-term! I’ve been a parent who has had to work all the way through half-term and one who has been able to take it off from work and now one who is working school hours so having the dilemma of do I do administrative work or fully engage? Last week I spent the whole week training with Theraplay (R) hearing further reasons why we should engage with our children and ideas to nurture the attachment so I thought I’d whip together 3 ways to take half-term from an endurance race to an enjoyment!

  • Follow their lead

How often do we make holidays about us? As a mainly schools-based Play Therapist let me tell you, no matter how much your child(ren) will tell you they haven’t done anything – they have! Especially this half-term, it’s the longest one with a brand new class and teachers and so much work after a summer of not much. This is for teachers and children alike! I’d intentionally plan some down-time for the first day or two of half-term, including some outdoor time if you can to reconnect and breathe fresh air. This can be hard when we feel we’ve spent so much of their term working but likelihood is you all need some rest. Your children will have something they would like to do, why not challenge yourself and not direct their activities but simply join with them? If you haven’t got a child who would invite you in to their play/leisure activities, don’t feel you have to ask questions, be intentional about being in the same space as them and make space to join in at any opportunity.

  • Learn a new skill!

Inspired by the lovely Emma from Tough Like Mamahttp://www.toughlikemama.com/ who posted last week on her Facebook page about playing Minecraft with her son, I realised that we can show our children we care by inviting them to teach us. So later on today, I have a date with my boy to be taught how to play Minecraft. He’s so excited! Now, I am no techno-expert and had to send him with his Switch to my ex-husband, I failed that spectacularly in the set up of it (though did get the timer and parental control on!) I mention that as it won’t necessarily feel fun to learn how to play Minecraft. But he loves it so much, and we know that shared attention and learning about what our loved ones enjoy is a way to connect.

  • Get creative

There’s so many beautiful colours outside, plenty of ideas on social media and the general web and though they need a break from school, you may surprise your children with the fun of creating together. Now, this isn’t to feel overwhelmed, so if you’re not a baker, don’t choose baking! Your family doesn’t have to do things the way other families do so also don’t feel your creations need to be publicised, massive science fair type projects or a masterpiece. I know my son has learnt more by the way I approach waste and what could be a mistake in other’s eyes. It even informs our family motto; ‘we get back up again!’ He thinks Trolls is the main research behind that but there’s Proverbs in there, too…! That’s something you could create, your family vision and motto. Feel free to ask me more about that 🙂

What does your half-term look like for you and your family?

Let us know in the comments, below.

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