The long awaited school holiday is here! But, do you know who is coming into your house to stay for 2 months?
Nelson Njuguna, a teacher says “We have 3 types of students coming home. We have the one who is eager to go home. They are tired, curriculum and syllabus coverage – they just wanted to go home. Pick up their bags and leave. We have other types of students they were reluctant to go home… the question is, why should a student feel safer in school than at home?”
“We then have these types of learners, they are well oriented so before they left, they wanted to be guided and they were asking now that we are going for7 weeks, there is a lot of idle time, what are we supposed to do with it?”
He also went on to add that some students are weary that when they go home, the estates/villages they live in have cliques and its own gangs where there is a way they do things for one to fit in. “They are told that in this estate there are some things that you will need to do – parents are not aware about that.”
Any parent ought to be excited that they get to have their child around. It’s an opportunity for a parent to catch up on what’s been happening with their child, especially those coming home from boarding.
Though the perspective of the parent is as important, how about from the child’s view? So you have been working hard, classes Monday to Friday, and for some Saturday as well. With the rigorous routine of waking up, getting ready, classes and homework, to top it off assessments, exams and catching up with the syllabus in a short amount of time, students are bound to feel the need for a break.
They say east or west, home is best but for some students, being at home will just be a place of complacency, mistrust between them and their caregivers, uncertainty of their stay during the holiday, especially those who may be sent upcountry from the city for the holiday.
There are many aspects to the long holiday, from parent child relationship dynamics all the way to high cost of living worrying parents, as they prepare for the holiday shopping lists!
With all this in mind, we miss the bottom line of the holiday, of any holiday for that matter… rest. It’s a time for the child to regroup and rest, and a time of the parent to take stock of their relationship with their child. A parent may not be able to do this every day, but surely 10 min a day spent with your child in the evening or in the morning, will do a lot of justice to the main purpose of what a school holiday is supposed to be. Being overwhelmed is the reality, but within the stress, there are different ways and means to keeping your child busy while you are away and being present and there for them after work.
Let’s change focus, underneath it all, you are the only one they call parent. So be just that.