Keeping Kids Busy Over the Holidays

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Keeping Kids Busy Over the HolidaysListen up Carmel Valley San Diego parents, if your kids get bored over the upcoming Holiday vacation, things could get rough. However, some simple things you can do will not only make the Holiday time for enjoyable for them, but also for you.

Although many children complain about school work, the social benefits of the school day make vacations fun but also boring. This is when the relief from doing school work is replaced by missing the time spent with their peers at recess, lunch, or even when they are doing school projects together.

I am a big believer in “family time” during vacations and advocate both alone time with each child and family-oriented activities, but parents need to do even more if they are going to keep their kids happy over the holidays.

Here are some ideas.

  1. Have your kids stay in touch with their peers. Cell phones, Skyping, and spending time together in “real” life are very important for kid’s mental health. Vacations are times when kids can spend time with their friends without the pressure of school and getting to bed early. Consider allowing your child to invite a friend with you on a day event, such as a movie or even to Disneyland. When kids spend time with their friends away from school, it will strengthen the friendship and make them even better friends when at school.
  2. Mix it up. Try some new activities that your family typically does not do. Get out of your typical element. Play a new game, go for a hike, try a sport that nobody knows how to play. Be creative and ask you kids for some suggestions. Rememebr, kids love to watch their parents struggle with things for it makes them feel better.
  3. Give back. The Holidays bring out the best and the worst. Celebrations, religious ceremonies, “quality time”, and of course the gifts make Holidays a wonderful time of the year, but it also is a time of sadness and despair for others. Giving back to others, or empathy, is the meat and potatoes of a healthy Conscience. Feeding the homeless. packing cans at the food bank, helping a friend who is having a tough time are all wonderful gifts for both oneself and the other over the Holidays.
  4. Get rest. Aside from all of the hustle and excitement during the Holiday season, rest and re-fueling for both kids and parents alike is essential. Try taking a family 20 minute nap during the afternoon. Research shows that no more than 20 minutes during the afternoon provides the body and mind with needed rest and makes the rest of the day and evening more enjoyable for everyone.

And, don’t forget to read. In fact, read together as a family. Not only does it promote good habits, but it also keeps your child on track mentally so when they do go back to school they will adapt much better then if they have to warm up their brain from being cold from a vacation.

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Dr. Keith Kanner

Dr. Keith Kanner

Dr. Keith Kanner is a Licensed and Board Certified Clinical Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychologist and Psychoanalyst. In addition to running a full-time private practice, he is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of California San Diego where he teaches both human development and also trains medical students how to better understand and relate to their patients. He also serves as the Director of Clinical Counseling for La Jolla Country Day School in La Jolla, California, and is a Clinical Professor at The San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Dr. Kanner also sits on the National Board of Directors for Kids Korps USA, which is the largest organization in the country that teaches children and adolescents the importance of volunteering to help the community at large. As a father of three children, he is also a dedicated baseball, football, and soccer coach.

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