Children generally look forward to holiday seasons. To them, it is an opportunity and freedom to engage in those activities which are pleasing. CHIBUNMA UKWU, however, writes that the holiday should not be left to the children alone but shared with parents.
With the school activities recently concluded and every direction pointing at the Christmas holiday season, it is a known fact that children particularly, are most pleased as they look forward to this period with great expectations.
For Kelechi Anozie, a student of the Tundun Wada Junior Secondary School, Abuja, the holiday will be most interesting because it falls within the time of Christmas. Master Anozie told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that he is preparing for the holiday.
“In preparing for this holiday, I do not involve myself in rough plays; I do not want to sustain injuries that may hinder me from playing and having fun with my friends. I also look forward to travelling and leaving my books behind temporarily”.`
Christian Chukwu, another student also hopes to have lots of fun with friends and family members this holiday. “Though I will help my parents in the house, I will also catch lots of fun as I hope to go to such parks as Wonderland where I will play with my friends. I really look forward to catching fun with my friends and everybody that will be around me. It is going to be sweet”.
An educationist, Mr. Augustine Mensah tried to shed more light on what the holiday means to children pointing out that the children need a time of rest after the studies period.
Mensah, an educationist and the head teacher of Oasis International School, Abuja, told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that holidays in a school system enable children to rest their brains from academic work load. According to him, children during holidays are given the freedom to exploit and discover things for themselves. They could also travel out with their families. That notwithstanding, he cautioned that they should not throw their books away instead, they should still take time to do the holiday assignments that they are given from their schools which he said, are meant to keep them busy while the holidays last.
“Indeed, children love to engage themselves in watching television programmes such as cartoons, but it does not prepare the child’s mind to the desired classroom activities. Thus, children should be given the time to watch television programmes but parents should monitor and direct them on when and how to watch cartoons. It should not be an all- day thing”.
Another teacher and a mother, Mrs. Regina Chukwuemeka also affirmed that holidays are not periods for serious academic works but time to rest from academic works.
“Although children are not encouraged to play and watch television all day, during holidays however, they should be allowed to rest their brains from the academic works which they have done throughout the academic session. At this time too, parents should take their children out so that they can exercise themselves”, she said.
Comparing the modern-day holidays to those of yester- years, another educationist and the head teacher of ABC Academy International School, Abuja, Mr. John Dankwah, recalled that holidays in the past were well planned for, as children did things according to guide. He stated that though children were allowed to engage themselves in various playful activities, they were still compelled to learn and practice the informal education.
“Formal and Informal education are both beneficial to a child and thus, should go hand in hand. Most parents may not allow their children to be involved in doing the house chores but children ought to learn how to sweep, wash plates and all other house chores which children were doing in the olden days. They should be encouraged to do these works at home”.
Mr. Dankwah further lamented that parents of today seemed not to be devoting much time to their children, stressing the need for parents to be around their children. This, he said, will aid them to oversee the activities that the children engage themselves in.
“It is true that most parents are always busy but that is where planning and time apportioning comes in. For parents who are civil servants, they should make every effort to be home early so as to see what their children have been up to and direct them to do them rightly.
For those parents who are into business, Mr. Dankwah encouraged that one of them should always come back earlier than the other and assist the children in the activities that they have.
“Things will move the wrong way if parents are not close to children to help them in supervising their activities as house helps may not help much”, he said.
On how parents are preparing for the holidays, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY learnt that parents are not left behind as they are making much plans to ensure that the up- coming holiday is memorable for their children.
For a member of the staff of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mrs. Hannah Udoh, parents also view holidays as time to have their children around them, though it involves much financial expenses.
“We the parents are aware that holiday is around the corner and we are doing our best to ensure that it becomes interesting to our children. Part of this preparation involves providing enough food in the house. We also plan for interesting outings and gifts like clothing and other things that will gladden their hearts. In preparing for the holiday, I have renewed my DSTV subscription as my children love watching television programmes, especially my daughter who derives pleasure from watching cartoons programmes. Apart from making them happy, it is another way of keeping them busy”, she said.
Another parent and house wife, Mrs. Gloria Dike disclosed to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY how much she looks forward to enjoying her children’s company and assistance this holiday.
According to her, training up a child is not a task that is meant for formal institutions alone. With this mindset, she plans to stay more with her children this holiday.
“It is something good and pleasant when parents have a good relationship with their children and holiday periods afford them the time to enhance the relationship by spending time with each other. As holiday is fast approaching, I am adjusting my programmes in such manners that will enable me to have time to play with them, assist them with their studies, as well as getting them involved in most things I will be doing. This entails taking them with me for church programmes”, she disclosed.
On the activities which children should be engaged in, Mrs. Dike acknowledged her desire for children to be occupied with domestic chores.
“ Most children prefer to watch films all day and if left all to themselves, they will not want to do other works so I would love children to assist their parents with house chores among other activities during this holiday.”