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Thinking of using a holiday kids club, but worried that DS won't like it, experiences please

(29 Posts)
rookiemater Wed 27-Aug-08 17:52:23

We are thinking about going away to La Manga for a week in October with DS aged 2.5.

We love him dearly, but it would be wonderful to have a couple of afternoons to relax by the pool or go to the spa, so I am looking into the kids club.

DS goes to a lovely CM 4 days a week, but I have found that when he is out with me he doesn't really enjoy going to Moters & toddlers or visiting friends as he prefers to stay close to me. I have dropped him off a couple of times for an hour at one of hte shopping creches and he was fine there, but when we went to center parcs he was in the creche for one afternoon and didn't seem to enjoy it.

Please, I don't want any guilt trips about using a kids club, we love our DS dearly, but I would welcome a few hours relaxation over the course of a week. However I would hate it if DS was miserable as its meant to be his holiday too.

I just want to know has anyone used kids clubs with a child that age and what is their experience of it

ehamilto Thu 28-Aug-08 22:20:32

Hi,

We used a kids club one year when we went skiing. It was great - we got to ski together and our ds had fun with other children his age and built snowmen, etc. I think it depends on the child and the staff who are looking after them. We checked it all out when we got there to make sure they were ok. Only trouble was that my dh broke his leg on the piste so we ended up going home early hmm. But up 'til then the holiday was great!

Don't feel guilty - relaxation time alone with your partner is really important for all of you!

Have a great time.

chipmunkswhereareyou Thu 28-Aug-08 22:52:14

Rookie - ds went to the La Manga kids club last year when we were there. It was very good - the keyworker type person was lovely and really reassuringly they have a cctv link to the foyer so you can watch your child settle in etc. from the foyer, go and check they are ok etc without unsettling them by actually going in for 5 mins and then leaving again.

I found the cctv thing made a massive difference as I could see he seemed happy.

rookiemater Fri 29-Aug-08 20:29:44

Oh thats good, thanks so much particularly chipmunks who has been there. I didn't know about the cctv, that sounds really good, because when he is unhappy he doesn't bawl his eyes out he just sort of withdraws and I would hate to think of him doing that for a whole afternoon.

Shame about your holiday ehamilto, we have just decided to postpone skiing for another couple of years until DS old enough to go to ski school so am very envy about you being able to go.

Oh actually mind you if DS gets on ok at the kids club then perhaps we could plan a ski trip for next season,mmmmm, ponders thoughtfully.

Portofino Fri 29-Aug-08 20:36:19

Last year we booked dd (3.5) in to the Kids Club at our Pierre et Vacances place (a few half days). She loved it, but was a bit older...As I recall, they can be a bit clingy at that age, but actually when you've gone are happy to play. Play it by ear maybe? Don't expect the world, but if he's happy to be left for a bit, make the most of it....

rookiemater Fri 29-Aug-08 20:52:14

Dh emailed the kids club, because the sessions are very expensive and they are pressing us to book in advance so they know their numbers as it will be half term.

They said that if DS didn't settle then they would let us know and we would get the money for the other sessions refunded.

It's in writing so hopefully if it did happen we would get our money back.

I have this horrible guilt over the whole thing, but DS is awake for approximately 12 hours per day so having him in the kids club for 4 hours for a couple of days is not bad parenting. Rookie repeats this to self many times....

Portofino Sat 30-Aug-08 00:28:06

Honestly don't feel guilty over Kids Club! A few sessions will be good for him - and good for you if you get the chance to relax a bit. I can't advocate sticking them in all day/everyday but as long as he is enjpying it......

ReallyTired Sat 30-Aug-08 13:32:55

I'm sorry, I think that 2.5 is a bit young for a children's club. Its one thing to use daycare/ childminders to allow you to go to work. But I think at this age they are too young to enjoy a holiday club. It's mean and frankly selfish.

Just think how it would feel to a small child to be in a room where staff are only using English to speak to the children and your son might be the only English speaking toddler.

Having a two year old who is awake for 12 hours a day is quite normal. Yes, it is hard work, but holiday is a great time for family bonding. Quality time is essential for a child with parents who both work.

When your son is older he will enjoy a holiday club more. When a child is old enough they will nag you to take them to the kids club. There will be no issues with seperation.

Children don't stay little for long. Enjoy it while it lasts.

chipmunkswhereareyou Sat 30-Aug-08 15:31:31

But ReallyTired the OP has said that if her ds hates it she will cancel the sessions. Some children that age do like this sort of thing.

Some of us don't have the options of taking granny on holiday to get a little break (and I am talking about a couple of hours maybe twice during a week not full time care on holiday).

I don't know your circumstances RT and am not assuming you have a granny to take along either but I am saying that I don't see much harm in seeing if your child likes it and sending them to a children's club for a couple of sessions. It still leaves masses of family time and leaves some parents happier when they are with their child as they get a little break.

FluffyMummy123 Sat 30-Aug-08 15:32:10

Message withdrawn

ReallyTired Sat 30-Aug-08 15:59:58

I work full time. I miss my son when I am work, but he enjoys his after school club.

My son is also considerably older. He enjoys a kids club because at the age of six years he is old enough. There is a world of difference between a two year old and a six year old.

The OP child is two and half and barely out of nappies, or prehaps still in nappies? Is the OP child old enough to discuss whether he wants to go to a holiday club? Can you have a sensible discussion with two year old what they want to do on holiday.

When my son was two and half years old we did not have granparents on holiday with us. My husband and I shared the childcare. We love our son and enjoy being with him. My son was extremely active at two and half years old.

I have only ever sent him to a holiday club if he has been keen to go. He went for the first time at five years old. Even then it was only for 1 hour and half.

Putting a toddler into childcare for four hours while on holiday is rotten. Why have children if you don't want to spend some time with them?

Just think how some poor single mother copes with a two year old 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year. Looking after a child with your partner to help you is a walk in the park in comparision.

Marina Sat 30-Aug-08 16:05:29

Tbh rookiemater, I think ReallyTired's perspective is worth considering - and I WOTH f/t too and always have done. I do think unfamiliar group settings are not a great idea for younger children - especially going on what you say about your ds clearly preferring your company when out and about and away from his routine with the CM.

You say you've already booked the sessions and they will refund if your ds doesn't settle.

In which case I would hit the spa on that first session and accept the real possibility that it might be the only one you get.

Maybe you and dh and could accept that, sadly, for a few short years, to get peace and quiet on holiday you need to take turns wrangling ds

Have a great time whatever you decide and I hope you get that spa moment

juuule Sat 30-Aug-08 16:18:35

You say:-
When out with you, he prefers to stay close to you.
He didn't seem to enjoy Center Parc creche.

It doesn't sound as though it's likely he's going to enjoy the holiday club, does it?
While you might want the time away from him, it sounds like he would prefer to be with you.
As you say it's meant to be his holiday, too.
Why not see what there is that you can all do together as a family.
And take turns a a few hours relaxation. One go out with ds while the other one does what they want for a couple of hours.
That way everyone wins and your ds will have a fabulous holiday.

tortoiseshell Sat 30-Aug-08 16:21:05

Hmm, I can see both sides here - 2 IS little to leave in a kids' club. On the other hand, in October dh and I are leaving our 3 children who are 7, 5 and 2 with my parents for 2 nights - partly because it is our 10th wedding anniversary in September and we haven't had a night away together since ds1 was born in 2001, partly because I NEED some space from the kids - just to be able to spend a little time with dh when we're not knackered, be able to finish a sentence etc. And I think it will be hard for ds2, as he doesn't know my parents particularly well. But he will have ds1 and dd there who he adores, but on the other hand it is for 2 nights - so it will be probably 3 days, 2 nights, which is a longish time.

Fingers crossed it will be ok! So I can see both where you are coming from and also ReallyTired! Hope whatever you decide works out.

Marina Sat 30-Aug-08 16:26:24

Good luck with that ts. I know your parents are not constant in the dcs' lives but they are familiar and trusted, I am sure it will be fine.
I do sympathise with rookiemater too! Dd went into a Centerparcs creche for the first time aged four earlier this summer and ds and dh went off and messed about with arrows hmm. Leaving me with 3 hours in the spa. Oh, it was bliss. I hope rookiemater gets that massage time even if she has to tie her ds to her dh with industrial grade elastic

Amethyst86 Sat 30-Aug-08 18:01:26

This thread made me feel really sad. OP says

"DS goes to a lovely CM 4 days a week, but I have found that when he is out with me he doesn't really enjoy going to Mothers & toddlers or visiting friends as he prefers to stay close to me."

So your DS already is away from you four days a week and when you do go out with him be shows that he prefers to be with you. Good Lord can't you give him one week of your undivided attention? I think I must be a bit odd because I wouldn't consider putting my dc into a holiday club until they are old enough to ask and really want to do it. Like someone else said, they are not little for long. Personally I would be really excited about getting to spend a whole week with my dc. Maybe its just me.

chipmunkswhereareyou Sat 30-Aug-08 19:07:00

Cod - the one at La Manga is actually very good compared to many UK nurseries (and resort kids' clubs) I've seen (and for reasons I won't bore you with I've seen a lot). It's airconditioned, very clean and the staff are lovely.

I do agree that there are some very poor children's clubs in hotels but this is not one of them.

chipmunkswhereareyou Sat 30-Aug-08 19:12:31

Reallytired - but maybe some people would say your line about "Why have children if you don't want to spend some time with them?" about you working full time. I don't want to get into that debate at all (and want to say very CLEARLY that I don't personally have an issue with parents working full time).That's not what we're here to discuss but I just find that a bit of a sweeping statement given you work full time.

ReallyTired Sat 30-Aug-08 20:07:49

"Reallytired - but maybe some people would say your line about "Why have children if you don't want to spend some time with them?" about you working full time. "

I was at home with my son, but it made me extremely ill. Being looked after by a mother with severe postnatal depression is about the worst form of childcare. My son really blossomed when I returned to work.

A lot of people work out of necessity. Either financial necessity, or to perserve mental health or because the parent has worked hard to establish a good career.

Children who are in good nurseries are not harmed by full time daycare. However they need good quality time with their parents. Being off work with a sick child does not count as quality time and weekends are just too short. Going on holiday is a golden opportunity for a bit of quality time with your child. A nice family holiday gives everyone a chance to bond.

If you put your child in daycare while on annual leave when do you get the chance to spend special time with your child.

chipmunkswhereareyou Sat 30-Aug-08 21:09:35

But the OP is talking about maybe two afternoons or mornings not the entire holiday. She works 4 days a week, she gets that fifth day with her ds. You work 5 days a week so maybe there's that extra incentive to catch up with your ds for you?

As I said I don't really want to debate the merits of working full time or otherwise but I do think we should cut her some slack. She asked our opinion and it's fine to say what you think but I thought some of your comments were a bit harsh considering she isn't talking about putting him in childcare full time during the holiday (which actually, unless someone had extenuating circumstances e.g. having been very ill, I don't like the idea of).

Might I add that when I worked just one day a week, a holiday meant finding a couple of hours here or there over the course of a week for myself and dh to spend some time alone together (provided I was happy with the standard of childcare on offer). The vast majority (maybe 90%) of the time we were together as a family. But I needed a little break.

ReallyTired Sat 30-Aug-08 21:46:56

chipmunkswhereareyou,

You don't seem to get it at all. My son is six years old. It is complusory that the goes to school. If I did not send him to school five days a week I would end up in jail. I only have to pay for about 10 hours a week of childcare.

As I work in a school myself, I have 11 weeks of holiday. I am extremely lucky that I can work 5 days a week in term time and have the holidays off. Very few women have this luxury.

I work precisely 195 days a year. (ie term time + 5 days) I do 37 hours a week, but I start very early in the morning so I can get back to pick my son at 4.45pm. My husband starts work later so that he can take my son to school at 8.45am.

Anyway I guess the OP does about 160 days a year, if she has 25 days annual leave, 10 bank holidays and 52 weekends a year. Why can't she leave her son with the child minder if she and her husband want some quality time together.

Even if this nursery is good its going to be a strange enviroment for him. It will take some getting used to. He won't know a single child or carer there. The likely hood is that he will be scared and miserable as he is not used to being at a nursery. By the time he has settled in, the holiday will be over. Just think how you feel when you start a new job.

If the OP wants some quality time with her husband then why doesn't she and her husband take a day off in the UK. Her son would be happy with his lovely childminder that he is used to.

AbbeyA Sat 30-Aug-08 21:57:46

I think that the last idea of ReallyTireds is a good one. It seems miserable to put him in a kid's club where he doesn't know anyone.

lilolilmanchester Sat 30-Aug-08 22:07:48

It doesn't matter what anyone else's experience is, it's how your DS finds it which is the most important thing here. There's nothing wrong with wanting a bit of "you" time if your DS is happy in the holiday club. How about trying it while you're there and seeing how it goes?

Portofino Sun 31-Aug-08 08:03:56

I think it so much depends on the child. Last year my dd positively craved to be with other children rather than playing by the pool on her own/with us grown ups - so over the course of a 2 week holiday she did 5 or 6 half day sessions in the kids club. OP's ds is a bit littler so may be a good idea to just try it out. If he's not happy he doesn't have to go....

AbbeyA Sun 31-Aug-08 09:12:16

I agree with Portofino. My ds1 would have loved it, but ds2 would have been miserable.

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