With the school Easter holidays now here, many of us are full of mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s always great to spend some (more) quality time with the children. But on the other, keeping them busy and happy for almost three weeks can be a task…an expensive one, at that.

So here are few things to remember while you get through the holidays:

1. Have fun

Letting your hair down, putting your phone down and just having fun with the children can make a huge difference to how you all enjoy each others company. And often, the simple things that cost nothing to do are the most fun. These times won’t last forever, so cherish them.

2. Turn off the TV, gadgets and read

Your children may well grumble at first, but half a month plonked in front of a TV and an iPad or other tablet really won’t add any benefit to anyone.

For one thing, reading is crucial for children – research shows that 25% of children leave primary school without being able to read. This is very sad, especially in the UK.

Reading is also a great way to bond. Try a mix of reading to your children and letting them read to you. Make bedtime reading fun by working on a theme – you can decorate their rooms and play around with lights to make it exciting for younger children.

3. Be realistic: you might not get everything right

Spending more time together than you usually do can create tension. If you snap and start to feel guilty, correct your mistake then brush yourself off and start again. Remember, it’s ok to say sorry to your child…

4. Don’t give up

If you can’t handle a school holiday with limited TV and gadget use, don’t give up. Try adding this new approach to your everyday lives when the children go back to school – it will make it much easier by the time the next holiday creeps in.

5. Share the love

If you haven’t done so already, schedule some time away. Even an afternoon where the children have a play date, or spend time with grandparents can work wonders. Don’t feel guilty for needing it, either. Remember, if you’re happy then the children will be happier, still. If you’re grouchy and tense, everyone loses out.

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