parents

10 rules you give up during school holidays.

How many have you already broken?

Can you feel it in the air? The sound of hollering kids freed from the restraints of school. The excitement of school holidays. How good is it?

I love school holidays, I relish the break from routine and the lack of structure. For me, it’s a time to allow my kids a little more freedom and relax the rules a little for the sanity of all. Rules like this:

1. Screen time.

I instilled this ridiculous no-screens-during-the-week rule in school time a few years ago — something, to be honest, I regret to this day. Seriously, those clever TV folk invented Peppa Pig for a REASON.

So come school hols, it’s a screen time free-for-all. I find there is a pattern that repeats itself time and time again. Day one, they binge; day two, interest declines; by day three, I find myself occasionally trying to actually encourage they re-enter the domain of Minecraft, especially when I have work to do.

school holiday rules
“Seriously those clever TV folk invented Peppa Pig for a REASON.” Image via iStock.

So about the great new world you said you created. Why don’t you see if you can build a red stone castle?

2. Food rules.

Did someone actually once say that chips are not a vegetable? What do they think a potato is? In school hols, chips are an acceptable vegetable consumption. This is especially true if you’ve taken the kids away for a few days.

Menus are a repeat of fish and chips, nuggets and chips, burgers and chips. If you’re in a hotel or dining out each night embrace it. No one ever exploded from excess-chip consumption. And remember — if in doubt, there is always pizza.

3. Bed times.

Gone. Non-existent during the holidays.

If you want to stay up late reading the newest Andy Griffith under your covers with a torch, I am happy to pretend I haven’t noticed.

ADVERTISEMENT
school holiday rules
Kids, stay up as late as you like… Image via iStock.

4. Saying sorry/ time outs/ the naughty step.

Well not completely on hold, but I’m working from home these holidays — so during work time, it’s an if-it’s-not-bleeding-I-don’t-want-to-know rule.

Sibling bickering, fighting over toys, he’s not letting me have a turn? Work it out, kids. Blood or vomit is all I need to be alerted of.

5. Furniture is not a toy.

Of course, it is when it’s school holidays. That’s not a dining table; it’s a permanent sheet cubby house.

Living room? Nah, parkour course.

6. Homework.

Kids get so much homework during term time, this is one time to take a break. Luckily for me, mine are voracious bookworms so I don’t need to force them to keep reading.

school holiday rules
School holidays weren’t designed for extra homework. Image via iStock.
ADVERTISEMENT

7. Curfews.

I’m sure some readers are ready to call family services right now, concerned that this Mamamia Women’s Network writer’s children are in serious danger of turning into a local version of the Beverly Hillbillies.

But curfews are another rule that get ever-so-slightly bent during the holidays. In fact, I let my seven-year-old come home from a playdate yesterday at the totally exciting time of 6.15pm.

8. Toys stay in the toy room.

Toy room? In school holidays EVERY room is a toy room.

9. Baths happen every night before bed.

You are starting to get images of those Beverly Hillbillies again, aren’t you? Don’t worry, it isn’t lack of water that’s the problem.

Even the sub-arctic temperatures that our tiny pool displays at the moment don’t hold these kids back. It’s all hose fights, water play and as much swimming as they can.

school holiday rules
“You are starting to get images of those Beverly Hillbillies again aren’t you?” Image via iStock.

10. Parental supervision.

Here is where I am really considering letting the reigns loose in the next two weeks. I am keen for my seven-year-old to learn some independence and the quiet streets of school holidays might just be the perfect forum for letting him taste some small bouts of responsibility. Venturing to the local shop alone (don’t worry, no streets to cross) and riding his bike to a friend’s house.

It’s only just the start of this school holiday break; I’m sure before the end there will be even more rules I have given a holiday makeover because, after all, by the end of two weeks of holidays it simply is a battle for survival, isn’t it?

What rules are you breaking these holidays?

Looking for more parenting advice? Try these:

One dad, 17 different ways to hold a baby.

“My dirtiest parenting secrets.”

“Today, I achieved no less than 67 tasks. And I’m sure every parent will relate.”

00:00 / ???