Tuesday, July 2, 2019

How to help children get the best out of their school vacation: a reminder for parents/guardians

Now that the summer vacation for students has begun, thousands of children and youth will be returning home to spend the much-awaited holidays with their families and friends. After five months of disciplined life under the supervision of school management, this is the time for them to relax and have fun with their loved ones. They will often be hanging out with friends, exploring every nook and corner of towns and streets. As a result, there are also risks that they might cross their boundaries and get into problems.

The past experiences tell us that most of the juvenile crimes happen during the vacations when the students have nothing important to do. When they are absolutely free, they are more vulnerable to negative influences. They can be easily dragged into undesirable social ills such as committing drug-related offences, burglary, theft, robbery, gang fights and other crimes that might ruin their future forever. We all know how some of the students have already lost their lives to drugs, violence and suicide during their vacations while others are still being locked up behind bars for crimes they had committed during their holidays. Such tragedies remind us that as parents, we have a bigger role to play in ensuring that our children spend their vacation responsibly and meaningfully.

Although the summer vacation has been extended to a month to encourage students to go to the village and help their parents/grandparents during the busiest time of the farming season, only few of them do so. The majority of them choose to stay back in the towns, enjoying the luxury and comfort of urban life. This increases pressure on parents and guardians to look for means to engage them productively and keep them safe. Many parents have already started registering their children for various educational and recreational activities initiated by different agencies in order to engage them positively. But engaging them through such programs alone won’t be enough to do justice to their much-deserved break from their busy academic life.

This is the time for parents/guardians to make their children feel at home by positively engaging them in social/family affairs. We need to spend quality time with them and make them feel important in the family. We can plan vacation trips, pilgrimage, family outing and other fun activities to help them make the most of their vacation. Even if we can’t take them away for outdoor events, we need to spend more time with them at home, talking about their school life, listening to their experiences, and involving them in the daily affairs of the family. Such engagements would not only contribute towards strengthening the family bonding, but they would also leave them with no time to loiter around and get into problems. I don’t encourage tutorial classes as a means of engagement during vacations because they have just come out of the school, and this is the time for them to refresh themselves in the comfort of their home and enjoy the break. The school vacations are a hard-earned treat after months of stressful academic life and we should make sure that our children enjoy it to the fullest. When they return to school, they should be rejuvenated and energized enough to continue their studies.

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