Praising Your Kids Effectively
 

The School Holidays Is the Perfect Time to Teach Kids Values

Putting values into action

By June Yong | 12 November, 2018

The year-end holidays are fast approaching, and many parents are in frantic planning mode – enrichment camps, family holidays, gatherings and parties, buying Christmas gifts – you name it, we’ve got to do it.

It’s easy to get swept up in a whirlwind of activities, and rush from one place to another mindlessly – with three kids at home, I’ve definitely been there. However, this year, I’m trying to do things slightly differently.

The year-end holidays can actually be a good time to take a step back, and think about the values we can work on practising in our family. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. The value of being frugal

Art camps; sports camps; science camps; coding camps – the list goes on. It’s tempting to get trigger-happy and sign the kids up for various things, filling each week with activities.

This time round, I took the opportunity to get my eldest, aged 9, to think about the holiday art camp she has been attending since 3 years back. We went through the options together, compared the fees (it costs around $200 per camp), and eventually settled on one camp where she’d get to work with wood – a new medium for her.

During the process, I emphasised that going for such camps is a privilege and that we should not take such opportunities to learn lightly. She has started to see the value; in fact at one point she asked, “So expensive? Then maybe we shouldn’t sign up?” This opened up a chance to talk about the things she learns and experiences at each camp, and how we can put the skills learnt into practice at home.

By talking the kids through the process of selection and decision-making, they begin to understand what it means to have a budget, and how going for one class may have to mean foregoing another.

2. The value of giving and contributing

When going for overseas trips with the whole family, it is a good idea to get the kids involved in planning and packing. Instead of allowing them to watch TV while we pack everything, why not get them to lend a hand? Get them to think about what essentials are needed, such as winter clothing or activity books to do during long car trips.

While we are at it, why not look for a volunteer activity we can be involved in as a family? It could be something small, like helping an elderly neighbour with her grocery shopping, or baking cookies to raise funds for a chosen charity.

Kids love to see their work and skills being put to good use. It gives them a chance to contribute to a cause, and helps combat those feelings of entitlement.

Kids love to see their work and skills being put to good use. It gives them a chance to contribute to a cause, and helps combat those feelings of entitlement.

3. The value of rest and balance

There is a reason why holidays exist, and much of this reason has to do with rest, relaxation, bonding, and balance.

So get of the treadmill and drop the performance-driven mentality, even if just for this season. Even adults need to take time off to rest and recharge, so what more for young children?

Even adults need to take time off to rest and recharge, so what more for young children?

Emphasise to them that they’ve spent the past year working hard at their studies, and that now is the time to kick back and relax. It doesn’t mean that we allow them to watch cartoons all day though; it’s more about giving them ample space and time for their minds and imagination to wander freely and for their hands to create new and fun things.

Perhaps it’s a science project that they’ve also been wondering about, and now is the time to do some research and tinkering. Perhaps they want to doodle and create their own comic strips, starring themselves or some aliens from outer space.

Whatever it is, we can sit by, watch gleefully and maybe even participate – only if invited, of course.

The school holidays offer many teaching moments for our young ones, if only we’d be more intentional in imparting the values that we hold dear. With these ideas, we hope that you’ll be able to make the most of your holidays!

© 2018 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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