School holidays – to be busy or not to be busy?

The Easter holidays are upon us and for parents, especially for working parents, school holidays can be a tricky time.  Sometimes we feel our children should be busy, their lives filled with activities, and if we are working too, then holiday play schemes are a godsend.  But holidays are also a chance for the child to have a bit of downtime, an opportunity for unstructured time away from rigid school timetables, playing and doing what they feel like.  Experiencing the freedom to make your own decisions about how you spend your time is an important part of growing up and becoming independent, and the holidays are an opportunity for children to start developing this key life skill.

Extraversion and Introversion are about where you get and focus your energy – on the external world of people and things or on the internal world of your own thoughts and feelings

Children, like adults, need a mixture of time alone and time with friends.  A more introverted child will benefit from some time alone to re-energise, while a more extraverted child will want to spend more time with friends. For both types of child, giving them the opportunity for a mixture of activities during the holidays – some sociable and some solitary – will encourage healthy personality development, but the balance for each child will be different.

And as parents, we need to recognise our own bias towards either introversion or extraversion and ensure that we don’t assume that our children have the same needs as we have to be busy or not to be busy.