As the days are getting longer, it’s time for busy parents to plan for the summer holidays. Vacations with the kids are the perfect occasion to reconnect at the end of the school year and prepare for the next school year to come. It also gives me time to enroll in a parent engagement program to ensure I can help my kids get the most out of their education. Unfortunately, when you have only a few weeks together before you need to go back to work, you know that you have to prepare something to keep them entertained throughout the summer break. If you’re a work from home parent, you’re lucky enough to be able to juggle with work and your parental responsibilities at the same time. You can look after the kids and remain productive, as long as everybody knows and respects your work schedule. But when you’re stuck in an office all day, you need to figure out alternatives to look after your children. Typically, kids aged 14 or above can be trusted to stay at home safely. They are responsible enough to look after themselves and even babysit younger siblings. However, if your child is too young, you will have to rely on someone else.
With every summer, working parents ask the same question: Can I trust you with my child? Indeed, whether you choose to send your child to a summer camp or to leave him with friends, you know that you need to entrust someone else with his safety. As a parent, it can be challenging. But here’s a comprehensive approach to tackle your worst questions.
Your worst fear: What if something goes wrong?
First of all, you have to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Sometimes, things go wrong. When you have children, injuries are the most common bad luck occurrence. The fact is that children are more likely to take risks because they don’t understand what danger is – and therefore, what could be potentially dangerous. Therefore, falls are extremely frequent. Over a third of young children break an arm or a foot before their 12th birthday as a result of combined risks and clumsiness. In this instance, nobody is to blame. However, there are situations where injuries are the responsibility of someone else. For example, when a relative takes your child to an attraction park, any harm that is caused by maintenance issues – such as a sliding platform behind damaged – could have been avoided and it’s something that you can prove with lawyers who work diligently for their clients to resolve cases about children accidents. The bottom line is that, even if your child gets hurt, you are not defenseless. You can, however, discuss your concerns with the responsible adult who will be looking after your kids while you work. You can decide together on activities that you are comfortable with.
Summer camps are a favorite
There is a good reason why
summer camps are popular; they give kids the opportunity to make new friends
away from home. Additionally, you can even combine the summer camp experience
with learning new skills, from camping to discovering a new language. For young
Americans, this is the perfect mix of fun and interesting activities. But, even though most summer camps are thoroughly
evaluated, you can never be sure that they will be a suitable place for your
child. There are signs, however, that will let you know if you can trust them
with your kid. For a start, it’s a good idea to review the marketing material
you’ve received about the place. Is the brochure up to date? Is the website
correct? A camp that doesn’t care about its reputation is unlikely to be a
pleasant holiday trip for youngsters. You can also find online reviews on sites
such as TripAdvisor, for instance, which can be helpful. Finally, don’t
hesitate to ask your neighbours and coworkers in case they have direct
experience of the camp.
Sending them on holiday with the grandparents
If the grandparents are available, they can be a lifesaver for working families during the summer break. Typically, teenagers appreciate spending time away from their parents and bonding with grandma and grandpa about topics they can never discuss openly at home. They often find it easier to talk about their crush or their schoolwork with grandparents, as they are less worried about being reprimanded or punished. On the other hand, young children can have issues establishing a connection, especially if they feel that their parents are worried. Ultimately, if children sense your stress, they are going to be nervous about spending time away from home. You need to remember their grandparents know how to look after children – they did look after you when you were younger. You have nothing to worry about; they are a positive influence on your child’s social development.
Leaving your child at a friend’s house
It can be tempting to send your child to a friend’s house for a couple of days, especially if they enjoy spending a lot of time together. Parents who offer to babysit kids are typically more experienced in dealing with children. They often organize parties for them or days out at the museum or the park, for example. You can discuss with them if there is anything planned and make them aware of potential problems with your child, such as allergies, for example. However, you should refrain from providing a detailed list of demands regarding bedtimes, breakfast habits, or even daily phone calls. Ultimately, if a parent offers to look after your child, you need to trust their parental experience. Do make sure, however, to prepare a thank you gift for them.
Is that person a good friend to your child?
Last but not least, the summer break is the occasion for children to spend more time with their friends – or make new friends. You may not like all their friends, but you can’t choose for them. What you can do, however, is to teach your child what makes a good friend so that he can come to his own conclusion.
It’s in the nature of parents to worry. While worrying is a sign that you care, it’s likely to drive you mad in the long term. Once you’ve taken all the precautions you could and engaged with the relevant contacts, there is nothing more you can do. Worrying is only going to affect your relationship with your children; it’s not keeping them safe.