10 Ways To Hygge Your Way Through The School Holidays
As someone with a young daughter, spending quality time with my family when I'm not working is a key priority for me for I'm looking forward to her having a bit of time off, but don't get me wrong there will be times that are trying!
Here I take a look at how the Danish concept of Hygge could help us all make the most of the time with our kids, and create an atmosphere and experiences that bring a sense of calm.
1. Setting the Scene
This is really important for creating a sense of calm. Go for low lights, gorgeous candles, and embrace that open fire. I appreciate that this may well be much calmer without the kids in tow but getting them to appreciate some down time is really important and setting the scene for a bit of chill out time really helps.
Pair this with a relaxed activity like colouring, doing some activities in a magazine, playing a game, or reading together and you'll be amazed at how they can embrace a bit of quiet time.
You could also seize the opportunity to talk safety around fires, as when they are more calm there are more likely to digest important information than if you shout at them when they are running around.
Really be there with your kids. Be present and not just a token gesture. This means having a bit of a digital detox, turning off mobile devices, and the TV, just for some of the time.
Your Hygge environment will help this as it's enjoyable for you too. One on one time is so valued by your children that a little goes a long way, so take some time to cook together, role play with their favourite toys, or play outside in the autumn leaves - it really doesn't matter what as long as you provide your undivided attention. Just 10 minutes a day could make the world of difference.
Holidays are a chance to treat your kids, but I'm not talking treats as they know it - ie this is not about sweets and chocolate, I'm talking about treating them to doing something together.
Head out for a date afternoon or take them out for lunch and tea, and revel in the fun of getting dressed up, and going somewhere special, together. Allow them to choose where to go but they have to also consider what you'd enjoy too so it's something you'll both love.
One way to reduce stress in the family home is for you to not feel like you're the salve of the kids! Whilst they are off school see what tasks you could share and involve them in day to day chores, but make them fun.
Yes they are children, but we also want to raise independent adults, who don't need to call you up to learn how to boil an egg and having a sense of achievement, and working with you, is something else they enjoy, when positioned right.
Being grateful and expressing it is a big part of Hygge culture. It's about appreciating that each day is a gift (even if you have to search for said gift!). Helping children appreciate their lives is a challenge but also very rewarding.
You could build it into your children's bedtime routine to talk through what they are grateful for each day to encourage them to think a bit more deeply.
Being on the same page reduces a lot of stress. Try to remove any elements of competition, of your kids playing you to get what they want and playing each other to wind you up! Try to celebrate together small and big wins and remove any us and them scenarios.
We all know that getting comfy makes us feel relaxed. It helps recharge us and brings a sense of wellbeing. Create a den, a reading nook, plan in a movie night - all these things help us unwind and recharge batteries, which can easily run low when you have an activity packed week.
If you do experience a lot of battles during the holidays try to think in advance how you could plan to reduce this.
Ask your kids their opinions and involve them in decision making so they know they are valued and not simply being told what to do all the time.
As long as you listen, take their views on board and understand what they are asking you don't always have to agree with them but you'll make them feel like they have been heard and perhaps a deal can be done for some middle ground.
Holidays can provide the opportunity for spending more time together, but it's not always possible to take time off during holidays, so even if you are not physically together all day, make sure you take time out to talk to them about their day.
Think about how you can still create memories for your kids during this holiday and find ways to connect with them - this is a big part of Hygge, making time to connect with each other.
Take pride in the place you are escaping to and get your children to understand the importance of this. If you're lucky enough to be going on holiday what can you take with you to make it feel a bit more like home?
How can your children contribute to this?
If you're staying home what can the kids bring to the table in terms of making the home a sanctuary - maybe it's as simple as tidying up!
Holidays can be stressful as more often than not children and parents are out of routine, but with a conscious effort to bring a little Hygge to your holidays I'm confident you'll all come out calmer at the end.
Anisa Lewis is founder of Parenting Success Yorkshire, based in Ilkley, and runs workshops, 'parenting parties' and 121 coaching to help equip parents with tools and techniques to deal with the challenges that children bring, to enable parents to enjoy parenting.
10 Ways To Hygge Your Way Through The School Holidays, 20th October 2017, 17:17 PM