For many parents, images of sugar plum fairies are far from their minds as they ponder how they will manage a week (or more!) with their children at home for the school holidays. Temper tantrums, mealtime squabbles and endless days with nothing to do, are all common challenges for parents with young children.
St. Nicholas Preparatory School has put together 5 top tips based on the Montessori method used in their nursery and reception classes, so parents can empower their children, develop self-esteem, foster independence and create happy little helpers
1 Make a plan
A structured day can make both you and your child a lot happier. Children like routine and are happiest when they know what lies ahead. For example, sit down and explain the events for the morning, followed by lunch, then the events for the afternoon. Better still, hold a family meeting to brainstorm some ideas and let them come up with some fun ideas of their own.
2 Resolving conflict
Sibling rivalry and temper tantrums are common in the school holidays. Try to take time for both parties to cool off, then, ask the child to provide some solutions to the problem at hand. By respecting the child and using positive language can really make a difference to the outcome of any conflict.
3 Helping out around the house
Children flourish when they feel that they are valued, respected members of the family. This can be accomplished by involving them in some of the daily household tasks. Take time to explain thoroughly what it is you would like your child to do, for example, laying the table. Show them how to do it and resist the temptation to jump in and correct them.
4 Tidying up
Doing everything for a child robs them of opportunities to practise everyday skills that would make them more independent and confident in their abilities. By allowing children the freedom and time to practise skills on their own without doing it for them, provides them with important skills in self-control and regulation. So remember to hand over the bin liners when it’s time to clear up the wrapping paper.
5 Table manners
Meal times provide a great opportunity for little ones to develop important social skills. If possible, provide them with proper cutlery, plates and glasses. Model polite conversation, and don’t forget to ask them about their day. By including them, they will feel valued and respected.
St. Nicholas Preparatory School is a co-educational independent school located in Princes Gate, London for children from the age of 2 years and 9 months to 11 years. The school follows a combined curriculum of Montessori Philosophy and the Early Years Foundation Stage in the nursery and reception classes. In Key Stage 1 and Key stage 2 the school follows the National Curriculum for England and Wales.