girl-in-classThe month-long school holiday is finally upon us! I’m sure many parents are scrambling to plan all kinds of activities to keep their little ones busy (and entertained, no doubt!) during this period of time. While some of you may not have the luxury to be with your children every single day of the school break because of work commitments or other reasons, I’m pretty sure most of you will try to make up for lost time by taking your precious ones to the park, the shopping malls or to catch a movie (go watch The Jungle Book, you won’t regret it!). And for those with cash to spare, a vacation overseas with the entire family is probably on the cards.

Today, parents will go the extra mile to ensure that their children not only enjoy their holidays but also reap the benefits by attending one of the many outdoor/sports camps or speech and drama workshops that are being organised across our tiny red dot. While I’m not against signing up for such activities (I’m guilty as charged having done the same, too!), perhaps we as parents should take this opportunity to look at how we can help develop a much stronger bond with our children rather than tossing them into one activity after another during the holidays.

It’s tempting to pack our kids off for this class or that workshop where they’ll be under the guidance and care of others, so that we parents can get some well-deserved “me-time” in getting our hair done at the salon, or going for that heavenly spa session, or simply catching up with old friends over a cuppa.

As it is, our kids spend more than half a day in school; and before you know it, they are out the door for more tuition classes and enrichment courses in the afternoon or later in the evening. And by the time they are back home, it’s almost bedtime. And top it all off, most parents don’t even have enough face time with their kids as many return home late into the night after work. So, how much more enrichment courses, workshops or camps do our kids need to attend during the holidays since they already go for so many of such classes in a non-holiday setting?

I once asked my seven-year-old if he could describe a memorable event or occasion. To my surprise, he made no mention of our trips overseas, and neither did he speak of the robotic workshop or hip-hop dance class he took during past holidays. He also didn’t mention about the countless trips we took as a family to the parks or the malls or the cinemas or even the library.

So, what did he say, you ask? His answer both surprised and astounded me. You could call it a revelation of sorts. My son says he recalls our little conversations, either at the breakfast table or during our long walks to school, about, of all things, my childhood days! You see, I often share with my son about my school days and who my teachers and classmates were (many of whom I still keep in touch with to this day; even after we’ve left school more than 30 years ago!).

He’s curious to know what subjects I took, what my teachers were like, and even off-topic questions like whether dinosaur fossils exist in Singapore! He’s also constantly asking about the type of old-school games I used to play when I was around his age.
family-mealAs parents, we can create a wealth of life experiences for our kids, be it through travels to foreign lands, or getting our children to participate in various activities. But in doing so, I think what is more important is to constantly remind ourselves on how we should strive to incorporate one-on-one interactions with our kids, as these are the kind of experiences we would want our children to remember and cherish forever.

So, go ahead and spend some quality time talking and chatting with your little ones during the school break. You’ll never know what pleasant surprises may be in store for you, and who knows, you might learn a thing or two about each other!



About Author

Caroline Francis

Caroline Francis has been a sub-editor and writer for over 20 years. She spent 12 years working with an awesome team at IT Publications where she was the assistant chief sub-editor for its technology pullout.

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