School Holidays - Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?
I don’t really remember the feeling of time passing when I was a kid during the school summer holidays. When I think back, I get the sense that the weeks shot along quicker than any child would want them to go, but I can also call to mind the fantastic feeling of long lazy days that stretched out seemingly forever.
As parents, most of us probably look upon these holidays with a much less favourable eye; childcare dilemmas and expense being the most likely notable issues. It’s possible that these same holidays wade in with an apparently never ending remorselessness now that you’ve got little ones yourself. Even if you don’t have kids, the cost of holidays and inability to contact anyone in business is an irritation in itself. The only upside are the traffic-free streets!
If you’re a similar age to me (and I’m not telling you where I fit in on the timeline), you probably ran out of the door at breakfast time and didn’t get back through the door until it was growing dark or you heard your name being called by your mum?
How things have changed. A much more active media plus social media have driven fear into the hearts of parents, who now tend to keep a much closer watch on their kids. Couple this with game consoles, YouTube and instant messaging, and we now appear to have a generation much more likely to follow indoor pursuits. It’s sometimes difficult to wrench them away from their devices long enough to even have a meaningful conversation, let alone spend some quality time with us.
I know this is cheeky, but we try to engage our children by getting them involved with the business. Not in a directorship capacity or as factory slaves, but simply to see what they like and don’t like. Obviously asking them to wade through the entire catalogue of dressing tables and consoles isn’t going to be too popular, but we’ve found that they love to search through ornaments (especially garden ones) and tell us what they think is going to be the next best thing. Quite often they hit the nail on the head, and therefore think they’re driving product choice.
Once they’ve chosen, the next step is to get the items into our own garden, and that’s when it pays off, as it’s the kids who decide where they go, and actually look after both the ornament and the area of garden around them. We now have no fear that a football or rogue bicycle wheel will damage anything in the garden any more - and all from our selfish need to want to keep the kids quiet. Is this wrong? Don’t answer that - we don’t want to have to change things!