Saturday, 1 November 2008

Half Term

As usual half term came rather too quickly for my liking. I knew the boys needed a break from school, but didn't actually want them to have it at home!! I was expecting a whole week of shouting, racing around the house, fighting and tale telling and to be honest I was not looking forward to it at all. The week that I had in reality was totally different....

I was really struck by the change in them that happened when they had time to relax, to enjoy being together and not be rushed about to school, clubs or other things. Usually at weekends, there is alot of noise and running (normally with lightsabers in the hands!) and I often complain that they have so many toys but don't seem to know how to play with them. This is what I was expecting for the half term break. I watched in total amazement as they got games out, brushed the dust off them and started playing WITHOUT being told to 'find something nice to do'. They had the time and they were just chilling. We did not need to rush about. They enjoyed each others company. This was a total revelation to me.

We rush our children too much. We have such busy lives and we expect them to run at the same pace that we choose to run at. We, as parents, try very hard not to get sucked too much into the clubs / sports thing and our eldest boy goes to 1 club a week. Even this creates more rushing. They don't have time to play, as they should be doing. When they play, they relax.

Our eldest boy, Toby, who is 7 has 2 sets of homework every week, as well as doing reading books supposedly every night (!). Why do they need homework at 6 and 7 years old? When they are at home they should be playing and spending time with their family so they are ready to learn again at school. On weeknights we don't have time to play with them as much as we would like because we are too busy trying to get homework and reading books done. It is a pressure that is totally unecessary at this age. What does this teach the children? When they are adults, will they bring work home with them instead of spending time with their children? How will they learn that relaxation is important? Will they always feel that their lives are only worthwhile if they are 'kept busy'? Yesterday Toby said to me 'We shouldn't have homework in half term, we're supposed to be having fun'.

So, because we have been far too busy having fun, we haven't done the homework yet. Will we do it? I don't know yet. Am I brave enough to make a point about it? I don't know that yet either?!

This week I have seen my boys for who they really are. I've got my boys back again - and they are very lovely. For the first time in a long time, I have enjoyed their company and we have had time to just 'be'. When they go back to school next week, I will lose them again to the pressures of time. We only have our children at home for such a short amount of time.... let's make the most of them. There will be plenty of time for other things in a few years when the house is quiet and there are no toys scattered about the place.

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