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Unstructured Vacations

We are one month into the summer vacations. This is no milestone. I don’t consider this first month as a milestone because we’ve spent our time alternating between both our grandparents’ places. I had whatsoever no problem managing the kids’ time.

Unstructured Kids Vacations - Parenting - Summer Vacations

Grandpa would build blocks with them. Grandma would take them to the terrace to play with them. Another grandpa would sing to them. And the other grandma would read stories exclusively to narrate it to them. In the midst of all this handholding and happy funning, the mother in me had no space to barge in. Except, of course, to reprimand the kids (and the grandparents, sometimes) when they go overboard with their tantrums and mollycoddling. Yes… There was some amount of screen time in the midst of all this activity as well but the biggest takeaway for me was that I didn’t have to plan their days in advance. They just went with the flow and are having a good time too.

Four days from today, we will be back to our own place of abode and the next one month is what I dread the most. I was working the last two years and hence had no option but to put the kids in summer camps which were no different than regular school. This is almost the first time that I have a full forty days with nothing to look forward to along with the kids.

Thinking about it, I go back to my vacation days as a kid. I realize I had working parents too but have never attended a single summer camp but have always stayed at my grandma’s place who managed my brother and me single-handedly. She didn’t have any methods of keeping us occupied. And, in fact, we had no television exclusively with cartoons and the like also back then. Yet, we somehow kept ourselves occupied throughout the day. We sketched and painted. We made zoos and parks with the toys. We ran around and played treasure hunts. We climbed trees. We played names-places-animals-things. We felt hungry when we got bored. We invented new games and newer recipes. We collected stickers of sportspersons. No one came forward to entertain us; it was our duty to keep us occupied all day.

Then, why do I, as a mother, take the responsibility of keeping my kids entertained; both structured and otherwise? Maybe, because of the changing times; of the newer generation that our children are a part of. Maybe, because our children are a part of nuclear homes who are more dependent on us than on themselves. Also, maybe, because me as a parent want my kids to spend  their time productively with or without structure. A friend of mine plans her daughter’s time even if she has a day off from school. There are times when I find this act of hers enticing; and then there are other times when I find it a little going-overboard.

I agree children need a bit of discipline even while on a vacation. A day full of TV would do no good to the child. So, will a life full of monotony also, right? A little bit of boredom does make a child (even an adult) get creative. There’s nothing more fertile than a little bit of boredom. Boredom is good!

Indu is a dreamer by nature; a (former) chartered accountant by profession; and a writer by passion. Her life right now, revolves around her four year old twin boy and girl. The two naughty siblings love to play their pranks on her every day, making her both smile and wince at once. She loves to leave a trail of her life at her blog.