How to survive the school holidays

So the six week hellidays, sorry holidays, are upon us and the big question some of us are asking ourselves is HOW AM I GOING TO SURVIVE?

By Claire Smith

So the six week hellidays, sorry holidays, are upon us and the big question some of us are asking ourselves is HOW AM I GOING TO SURVIVE? We parents often have the exact opposite response to the start of the school holidays than our kids. It’s a long time to be in the company of children, especially since the British summer was that one nice day in April. The best advice I can give you is ignore the crappy ‘school’s out’ ideas you get in parenting magazines. Most of those recommendations are written by some full-time journalist with a nanny, who will suggest activities such as ‘Get A Craft Box’ and ‘Play Board Games’, which as well as being SECONDS of fun, will have you bashing your head against the school gates in no time.

Listen to this expert. I will have my kids 24/7 for ALMOST SEVEN WEEKS. Believe me, it’s going to be torture unless you follow my guide which will get you through so much better than a craft box. And you might even make it to September in one piece.

This is what to do with your children:


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1. ARRANGE PLAYDATES

Give your children away to other families (best option). Even have their children round to your house (not so best option). Because even though it will be loud and messy, you are likely to get some peace and quiet whilst they play – and Peace & Quiet is the Holy Grail of parents of course.

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2. IGNORE THEM

Ignoring your children encourages independence and it hones their survival life skills. Once upon a time there was a land where children were thrown outdoors to play in the street – not so safe now, but there’s sure to be a garden or a bedroom where they can make their own amusement. You can then retire to a safe place, preferably behind a closed door.

3. DO NOT MIND A MESS

Especially if the kids are playing nicely. It’s the price you pay for kids entertaining themselves and there’s always Daddy who can clean up when he’s home from a relaxing day in the office. It’s the price he pays.

4. VISIT SOMEWHERE FREE

Preferably a place with a good cafe. You’ll need that extra caffeine boost if it’s a crowded museum. Or simply borrow a dog and go to the woods, especially if you get phone signal. You can chat or text whilst the children are running wild with the dog.

5. SWITCH ON THE TV

Have movie days where you rent the entire collection of kids DVDs at Blockbusters and stuff yourself with popcorn. Don’t even feel guilty about this. And if you do, then rent films where the kids might actually learn something. Most importantly, teach your children to use the remote control.

You can also try: Taking a trip on public transport, having a good argument then spending time making up, baking if it’s from an easy step-by-step no mess packet, getting a bit tipsy so you become Fun Mum, having a disco in your living room and (my personal favourite) getting your kids to do household chores.

Above all, don’t do things because you’re told to do them for the kid’s continuing education or because you feel you have to in order to win Parent Of The Year. Try to have some fun yourself. Because, really, what else are kids and school holidays for?

Hopefully see you on the other side.

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