The predicament is real! Summer vacations in Ramazan are a relief and a challenge at once. The struggle whether to enroll kids in activities or to simply let them be is one big, tough decision; one that needs commitment in the challenging month of fasting.
So, what do we do? How should we handle this quandary? I, for one have settled on a middle path. One where my son should get his due of relaxation this summer, plus an activity I will enroll him in. Below are my five rules this summer:
1. They Should Feel Involved and Useful
It is best to engage children in tasks at home—like setting the table, feeding the pets, or tidying up. It will teach them a life skill. We are so occupied with giving our kids everything in perfect condition that we forget to show them what goes around in making things happen. We need to share with them real experiences of life: of struggle and the greatness which lies in hard work. My husband has tasked our son with filling water bottles whenever he finds them empty. He has also set up a reward for the task at the end of each week. You can choose any task that works with your family dynamics. Just encourage them to do real life mundane tasks. Show them the joy of simple living and taking care of things on our own.
2. Some Discipline is Key
I have established the fact that there are going to be slightly relaxed mornings, but no sleeping till late, other than weekends (maybe). This will ensure that things work on schedule (because I work). It will also give my son more time to indulge in his activities, which will bring in him a sense of achieving the leisurely goals he has set for himself. This then sets the pace for the rest of the day, and we are able to achieve our bedtime goals too.
3. Enroll in a Skill/Sport
The whole school year is at times so challenging, that a passion that our kids might deeply want to pursue, is easily overlooked. We need to give kids the opportunity to hone the skills and/or passions their hearts jump to. So, find out what your child is really interested in learning, pursuing or playing. And, give him/her the chance to polish the passion this summer.
4. Kids need their due time to play/indulge
There should be unstructured downtime along with schedules, to allow kids to be free spirited; possibly to daydream, be creative, run around or just simply be!
5. Reading Should Never Be Ignored
Reading should be inculcated as a fun and exciting hobby. When vacations begin, kids tend to focus on screens and video games for indoor fun. I have established a one-hour-reading-rule with him. This can take place in one go or in two parts, preferably in the first half of the day. Abiding which, he will have access to his screen time.
How are you keeping kids busy? Do share your ideas in comments below!