Gloucestershire charity is offering timely tips for stressed parents
who are feeling frazzled with more than a month of the school holidays
still to go.
childcare arrangements, financial pressures and trying to keep bored
youngsters occupied during the long summer break can lead to many
mums and dads dreading this time of year.
Stroud-based Parentline Plus and the BBC Gloucestershire joined
forces to stage a 'summer holiday survival' day in Gloucester on
Friday July 30.
bringing up their children alone and separated families in disagreement
over where children will spend their time, can also find the holidays
stressful and depressing.
Mums, dads and carers may also feel guilty about the limited amount
of time they have available with their children, or feel under pressure
to take the kids on holidays or days out they cannot really afford.
The charitys parenting experts were at the BBC Learning Centre
in Eastgate Street, Gloucester, to offer fresh ideas and top tips
on how to make family life less stressful over the summer, plus
information on their free support services that are available all
Plus runs a round-the-clock free helpline (0808 800 2222)
for parents at the end of their tether, a website and email advice
service and courses at venues across Gloucestershire on a range
of parenting issues.
include preparing for and coping with teenagers, dealing with tantrums,
resolving family conflict, helping youngsters feel good about themselves,
bringing up children after splitting up and being a stepparent Lynne
Sealey of Parentline Plus said:
long holiday can be a particularly stressful time for families.
parents have to sort out childcare while those at home feel under
pressure to keep the kids entertained, which can be expensive.
calls are made to our helpline at this time of year than at any
other time so we want to highlight the range of support we
can offer when family life gets tough."
Plus is organising courses and workshops in Gloucester, Stroud,
Newent, Tetbury, Cinderford, Coleford, Mitcheldean, Dursley, Cirencester,
Cheltenham and Tewkesbury, from August to December.
more information or to book a place call Parentline Plus on 01453
are top tips from Parentline Plus for summer survival
Top Tip One
Dont try and fill every minute of every day, it will only
exhaust you and the kids dont need that much stimulation.
If you work or have other commitments remember quality is more important
Top Tip Two
Look for what childcare options are available in your
area. Some parents share childcare with friends, relatives
and each other, whilst others balance it with kids clubs and
family centres. A variety of options makes child care more flexible
Top Tip Three
Just relax and try and enjoy it yourself, its your holiday
too. Dont feel guilty if you pack the kids off for the day,
or get a sitter in for a night out. Other adults can bring in fresh
entertainment for the kids too and it gives everyone a break.
Top Tip Four
Give your kids a chance to get bored. How many times do you hear
kids whining, Im bored? Its okay for them
to get bored! Give their imaginations a chance to come up with ideas
to fill in those long hours. If you are trying to balance the needs
of a range of ages get them to come up with ideas have a
family meeting to decide.
Top Tip Five
Make sure that young people get unstructured chill-out
time. They need it as much as adults. They arent being
aimless or lazy if they spend their free time hanging around, watching
TV, playing on the computer, listening to music or even not
getting out of bed until lunchtime!
Top Tip Six
Dont expect your teenager to want to spend the whole holidays
playing happy families. They may well want to spend time doing their
own thing, but may be happy enough to spend a day or two with the
Top Tip Seven
If you have to leave your older children alone for any
period give them clear instructions about what to do if there is
a problem. Leave a list of people you trust who they can go to.
Top Tip Eight
Plan contact arrangements, ensure regular contact or
just simply take time out to talk. For separated parents and their
children the lack of routine, separate holidays, or not seeing a
parent at all can be difficult.
Top Tip Nine
Try to get back into a routine. Late nights and long
lazy days are what holidays are all about but try and ease them
back into routine as the holiday comes to an end. That way, bedtimes
wont be such a struggle when they do go back to school.
If you are a parent or carer and would like more information and/or
support you can call Parentline Plus' 24-hour free, confidential
helpline on 0808 800 2222, or go to the website www.parentlineplus.org.uk
you would like to comment on this story get in touch at email@example.com
or have your say on our messageboard