To think my DC miss out on time with their friends due to them having to spend the school holidays in holiday clubs?(26 Posts)
Me and DH work so my 2 DC spend a lot of school holidays in holiday clubs. The majority of their friends have at least one parent who is always at home in the holidays so they are always having friends round, going out for trips with other friends etc.
My DC don't do any of that as on the few days we are at home, I want to spend time with them as a family.
I know they are gaining invaluable social skills by mixing with different children and they both love the clubs they go to. I just feel sad that it means they miss out on social time with their mates
Aren't the children in the holiday club also their friends then?
You are really over thinking this. Playdates are overrated imo.
Yanbu to feel a bit bad for them but you must realize that not every child has a parent at home. Maybe Their friends do but not everyone. You can't help your situation but at least they have friends at their club.
I'm always at home with my kids but we don't generally meet up with friends. Occasionally we'll go to a local event where friends happen to be, but generally we just do our own thing. I think it makes it more exciting for them to go back to school then - they can look forward to seeing their friends again.
I don't see that as a problem. My own DS used to spend a lot of his holidays in clubs. However, if it bothers you, what about saving one day of your annual leave for each school break and making sure your children see their friends on THAT day. Don't know what job you do, obviously, but it could be an option
I'm largely at home with my kids but we don't tend to meet up with friends much. We prefer not to spend time running around meeting up with people. Most of my friends with kids seem to do the same. I don't think they miss out at all. In fact, for my kids, I think it is quite good to have a bit of distance over the holidays from the same people they see at school all the time. That's probably just my antisocial tendencies though!
They do have friends at the holiday clubs but they are transient friends as they go to different ones, the other children change all the time as well so they make friends with children one day at the club but might never see them again.
I do take time off at holidays but, as I said in my OP, I want to use that time to spend with my DC as a family as we don't get much family time.
I am always very surprised at how many parents don't work/have term time only jobs! I am definitely in the minority
I think you are looking at other households through rose tinted glasses.
School hols did have nice times, days out, visiting rellies, but also many dire boring ones, with DCs falling out, weather wet and miserable etc etc Plus days out are VVV expensive now unless a walk on the beach or similar, which doesn't always grab DCs' interest.
Also visiting playmates can be a pia!
Also have you considered a childminder or holiday nanny maybe? They will be more consistent friends wise. A nanny may be just as cheap if more than one child as they charge per family not per child
I work from home and arrange work so I don't work much in the holidays.
However we don't do anything with school friends. Dd is in secondary and may arrange something of her own.
But ds is 5 and we don't. Tbh school holidays can be a pita. Trying to fill the days. You are looking at this in a 'the grass is greener' type way.
Oh and yes we try and work from home as much as possible in holidays, but that means Dh or I are trying to work still so we rarely have people over as busy. Our own can play happily between themselves a fair bit
They see their friends at school so I don't really think it's a problem. It's not like they are being home schooled or don't see other friends, ever.
I took two weeks off over Xmas and have often taken the summer holidays off work. I've never hooked up with their school friends, we spend this time together either just me and DDs or with their 'out of school' friends (usually my friends who happen to have kids!).
I think your kids aren't suffering massively over thing and, meaning this kindly, you are guilting yourself for no reason. Work and enjoy it, the kids will be fine.
Yanbu my children go to holiday clubs as well. We make sure that we do fun thing,s on the days they are not at club and they have friends over at the weekend. As well as holiday club this hols we have been away for a mini break holiday at the weekend, been to cinema, theatre, had their friends round and some of their normal extra curricular activities have been still on. Make the most of the time you do have. I get 5 weeks hols per year. The kids get 13 weeks. So 8 weeks they will be in club. 3 days per week. I let them choose which club they go to, they have a choice of 4 different ones.
I do sympathise OP; I'd feel the same But I am sure you're doing a great job and ultimately it won't matter much.
There is no perfect but I presume your children might be highlighting it and it makes you feel guilty. I have felt similar to you about the leave - saving it to spend time with the kids - but we have family time every weekend and do things together. I keep home life low key (and cheap) as we are so busy during the week. So when they go to see their friends I am there to wave them off and pick them up - I allocate one day per school hols for this. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to be doing it all - it can feel like a waste of a day off if they are on a play date but I try to get a few things done in doors and give myself a bit of time - the kids have a choice and that's what they want to do. Their friends mums all know my situ so give me plenty of notice. I do owe big on the play date return though !!!!!
Ds(11) has been quite happy pottering about this half term without meeting up with any of his friends.
Our local leisure centre runs various activity days in school holidays and I have sometimes arranged for him to attend one of these days with a school friend, although the other mum is also a SAHM, so they can have fun together and we don't have to endure a play date . Could you do something similar? Although it has to be said on these days there are various sessions they can choose from and invariably they choose different ones so they don't actually see much of each other
On the plus side they must find it easy to make friends and won't suffer so much if their regular friends decide to drop them.
I do wonder about holiday clubs - dh and I have a weeks leave together, maybe a week and a half. I get a bit over statuary leave allowance but he gets statuary. Between us we can cover all school holidays bar 10 days, that's not that much time in holiday club. If there are two parents why are kids spending loads of time in holiday club? Genuine question. I get it if you are a single parent as you've only one set of leave but if there are two of you
Do people take days off when the kids are at school? Do they take all their leave off at the same time as a couple? Are they allocated leave outside the school holidays (I know one family this applies to). Are the kids at private school with longer hols? Are their kids at schools with different school holidays? A mixture of all of them I guess.
It's not as though their friends are necessarily 'free' were you to be at home too. I am at home all holiday as are DD's best friends parents. We haven't got a convenient day all week!
Your children are socialising more routinely than mine if you look at it from that angle.
I think you are over thinking this - I was a SAHM but my DS begged to go to holiday clubs - he loved them.
If they would like to see their friends at weekends you don't surely have to do family stuff all the time - give your children a choice.
Maybe you need to loosen up on " family time". On the days we are home together the children are still allowed their friends round or they will come with us if we go out.
Most couples I know usually overlap a weeks holiday to go away but then split the rest so a parent is home in the holidays. That way most of the time is covered.
What about the weekends? Can't they see friends then?
If they are happy going to clubs I wouldn't worry. If they didn't want to go that would be different.
My DDs were in holiday clubs pretty much all the time - the same children went to those clubs, i.e. the children of working parents, and those children became their friends. Some of those friendships are still ongoing now that they are 13 and 15. You aren't depriving your DCs at all.
These days my DDs are too old for holiday clubs and yes, they do arrange their own social lives and go out with their friends. They seem to manage it quite well and don't appear to have been stunted in their ability to have a good social life by their earlier holiday club experience - your DCs will be fine too. You sound like a loving and engaged parent and that is what matters, so stop worrying.
Thanks for all the posts
I am not generally given to a great deal of parenting guilt but this does niggle me a little for whatever reason.
The rational side of me knows that they are absolutely fine in holiday clubs, they seem to enjoy it (they have a choice of 3) and it tires them out DS1 could make friends with a wall so he just throws himself in, DS2 is a bit more reserved and hangs on DS1's coat tails a bit until he is comfortable but it works.
Weekend playdates are difficult as well as they both do activities which take up weekend mornings so sleepovers are difficult to arrange, family visits, homework etc all seem to get in the way and the weekend is then over
In terms of why they spend so much time in holiday clubs, whilst I do get a lot of holiday (DH is statutory), we have to fit our leave around colleagues who also have school age children so we cannot just automatically have every school holiday off - it is a constant juggling act between me, dh, my colleagues and his colleagues plus we have a fortnight in the summer to go away together and other odd days out together.
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