It has been a long and busy third term both parents and children alike. My little Grade 1 girl is exhausted from the countless tasks and assessments that they through this term, and the end of term concert rehearsals is no fun anymore as they are somehow being tasked to do much more than their little bodies can carry through.

Perhaps, I am subjective in my view, but many parents will understand the stresses that come with mainstream education. By far, being an educator myself, I am more critical of the system and the vicious amount of content that the syllabus demands from all stakeholders (parents, children and educators).

Of late, I stopped to question exactly what we are offering our little ones? Are they driven by just ratings and scores that are reflected on a report card at the end of the term, or are we really nurturing the innate being within them? I come back to the beginning, sigh, and then proceed with caution and care, as ultimately, we as parents, have the power to feed our children with the correct energy and drive. Our focus is what will allow them to grow and our positive energy that rubs off on them will build their spirit.

Hence, my sole purpose during the forthcoming short break between school terms is to reconnect with my girls. During busy school days we get caught up with just getting-by the duties of the day, rest (albeit sometimes insufficiently) and then up again for the next call to duty. Life is certainly not meant to be that way. I protest against any such methodology where children are forced to grow up too soon.I am grateful for the profession that I serve in, as an educator I have a bit more flexibility than those mums and dads who are in the 8am to 4pm working world (though educators do clock in hours and hours of preparation when lights are shut and all are in bed). I am also grateful to have had eight years at home to just be a parent and not juggle work and home life. With this experience, I value parenting even more.

I am very much in tune with the love languages of my little ones and can identify exactly what makes them feel loved. My eldest loves quality times spent with her, even if it is just reading a book together, or perhaps playing a board game. Time spent with her is what makes her thrive, when she feels love and appreciated. Whereas my little girl perhaps also shares the same love language and often requests that I stop what I am doing, and just sit
next to her for a bit. There is no harm in slowing down our pace, actually the benefits of doing just that outweighs the risk of
burn-out.

So, this holiday, take time out to just be with your child. If you can afford a few
days off on leave from work, then do not hesitate to take it and enjoy late mornings and late evenings with your children. Break the routine. Whether it is arranging play dates at home, talking walks along the beach, or picnics in the backyard, use this break to enjoy your children. Allow them to be free-spirited, let them feel the breeze sweep against their skin as they run and play outdoors.

This break is essential to recharge and release that energy of just being children. Parents, enjoy this time, allowing your child the freedom of being a child.

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