Parenting During a Break: Everyone Has an Opinion

With his Spaceship, Spaceship, Spaceship

With his Spaceship, Spaceship, Spaceship

Probably not a smart move making a post like this during a week where I won’t be on the computer or my phone too much.  As I mentioned on Saturday, this is my son’s Winter Break . . . which includes a day that is in the 50’s and maybe even 60.  Guess calling it President’s Week wouldn’t work, but whatever.  Either way, he’s home and we’re going to be doing stuff.  Movie, building, playing, something outside, and other events that will leave me dragging my tired butt into bed.  Nothing is really set in stone besides The Lego Batman Movie.  Apparently, that’s a problem.

It happens before every break.  I’m bombarded with ideas and events to do with my son.  Many of these cost a bunch of movie, which I don’t always have.  $45 bucks a day for a week long camp?  Nope.  $60 for a place that is also a long drive?  Might as well use my zoo membership or go to this smaller place nearby for $6/person.  Unfortunately, this ends up making my wife and I feel like we’re not being good parents.  If we say no then we’re told that we’re not stimulating him.  I’m showing him Planet Earth II and looking for free/cheap stuff to do.  It isn’t like I’m chucking him in a box after breakfast and only taking him out for meals.  We feel bad enough that we can’t do a lot of the things other people do.  Any monetary windfall we get goes to bills or we’re far too scared to use it beyond a single present for him.  This is the life we live and I’d like to think we’re working as best as we can with it.  How many other 7-year-olds will start telling you about Golden Snub-Nosed Monkeys and Gila Monsters?  Really should do a zoo trip at some point during this week.

My favorite thing is when people suggest stuff that doesn’t fit what my son does or it’s something they would like to do with him.  Yeah, this part might get me in a little trouble, but I’m guessing everyone does it.  We have our own interests and we tend to project them on others.  Art museums are a common one, but I know my son is more interested in animals and things you can interact with.  It would be a waste of gas and a ticket even if he seems interested at home.  The kid is rather skilled at humoring adults without them noticing.  When it comes time to do the thing, he’ll simply say ‘no thank’s and politely ask for what he really wanted.  Have to admit that I get a kick out of watching people try to convince him to go along with their choices.

The point of a break is to have fun and rest for the kid.  It’s also for the parent to not kill themselves entertaining them.  Why run yourself ragged and then limp through the weekend?  Especially when the following week is a return to the usual schedule, which typically isn’t any easier than when the kid is home.  Less distraction, but more work and chores.  I just don’t see why I have to be given guilt trips for not planning stuff or focusing on things I know he loves to do.  Again, the animals are always a hit with him and there’s nothing wrong with playing at home for a day or two.  Those games and puzzles won’t play with themselves.  Not to mention he always gets a new toy during this time for doing great at school.  We started rough this year because of Common Core, but he’s not having panic attacks anymore and is meeting his goals.  So, his aunt and us are getting him a big Lego Batman Set that has his new favorite character: Poison Ivy.  Weird since he only knows her from one book.

Anyway, needed to get that off my chest.  What do other people do when their kids have/had a break from school?  Was it always scheduled or did you let your whims do the work?  Is it really that bad to spend some time at home?


Grab a copy of Chasing Bedlam for 99 cents!
Cover is 7-year-old approved since he snagged my phone when I was looking at the proof.


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About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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38 Responses to Parenting During a Break: Everyone Has an Opinion

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Spending time with children is far more important than spending money on them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. L. Marie says:

    People are always full of advice about what someone else should do with his or her child. 😦
    I didn’t get to the Lego Batman movie on the weekend, so I hope to go this week. I hope you and and your son enjoy it.


    • Definitely looks like we’re going to enjoy it. My sister and I went half/half on a big Lego set too. The main reason for choosing this one is because he’s become obsessed with Poison Ivy and it’s the only one she’s in. He gets Joker too, which will go with his motorcycle Harley Quinn. On the other hand, he now has 3 Lego Batman figures. We’re putting it together after we get home from the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tpolen says:

    We always loved movie day – build a fort with blankets and chairs, have popcorn, and let him pick the movie. Board games were always a big hit. Sue’s right – spending time with them is more important and that’s what kids remember.


    • We tried movie day today, but the one he wanted was out at the library. He’s seeing ‘Madagascar’ on stage with the grandparents on Friday, so we wanted to prepare him. Thankfully, I’ve figured out enough to keep him occupied and me not entirely tired. 🙂


  4. Mine are all grown, but I remember when the breaks came in a two-career household. The short breaks were always time off for one of the parents and then deep emersion into kid time. Nothing really big, but certainly quality time. Making projects, playing dolls, tea time, and endless chutes and ladder games. If the weather was good out to the park with swings and slides, McDonalds, a picnic and trips to the zoo. I found they really enjoyed it when they could entertain the parent in their world. Summers became a problem but now the kids know how to play tennis, sail, boat, swim and make a canoe out of a tree (if it comes to that) due to summer camps. We also lived in an area that had urban day camps. These were a lot of fun for them.


  5. Darlene says:

    We didn’t have much money growing up and certainly didn´t do things that cost money and we turned out OK. Sounds like you have some great things planned and winging it always works out well. Have fun!!


    • I remember a lot of playing in the yard and with neighbors. That doesn’t happen much these days. Everyone seems to be running around with plans. Honestly, I’m content to spend one or two afternoons hanging around. I think people are quick to assume a parent isn’t doing a good job these days.


  6. Jean Lamb says:

    There wasn’t much money (at least there wasn’t for me, anyway) but there were always lots of ways to have fun. Of course, at that age I belonged to a small pack of roving children, and our neighborhood the kind where we could roam around and only get into moderate trouble.


  7. Two working parents relied on grandparents a lot this time of year. Consider a game called Pokemon Go. It requires you to get outside with your phone and walk around if you want to catch them. It’s a game a kid would like, you go to parks, and it’s pretty fun. Free download.


    • Live with the grandparents, so getting them to babysit isn’t as easy as it would be. They’re taking him Friday though. I’m a little leery about going with video games. I’d rather he run and play out there. That and my data plan isn’t very good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Games are a tough call. I thought of this one, because you have to get outside and walk around. Fishing is a cheap option, but it involves waiting around for something to happen.


      • It’s a good call. Just trying to get him into things that are less techy. Seen too many kids sit around on iPads instead of running around. Must be getting old since I see that as only a rainy day thing. I’d love to do fishing, but it’s actually expensive over here. It’s all ocean fishing and that requires boat and gear rentals.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a shame. My daughter and I used to get a $2 box of grubs and take her Snoopy Fish Catching Kit to the bluegill pond in a public park. She had an absolute blast.


      • That sounds like fun. The area has more walking and hiking spots than fishing. So we’ll do that one day.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Bookwraiths says:

    Just spend time with him. My kids are preteens/teenagers now, but they recall the silly things we did around the house when they were little a lot more than all the “big” vacations we took them on. Have fun! And Lego Batman was great fun. My youngest son and I saw, and we both liked it. 🙂


  9. I don’t have children of my own, but I’ve helped raise several belonging to other people. I’m not an expert, but I obviously do something right when I’m in charge of entertaining the children, since they generally seem pleased to spend time with me, and are usually reluctant to go home afterwards. So either they’re all really good actors and actresses, or I manage to do a good job making them happy.

    Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with entertaining them at home, or taking them to cheaper places. Also, if you’re entertaining and educating them in a way that appeals to them, so much the better. If zoos and Batman Lego sets are what your son enjoys, go for it, and don’t feel guilty. Besides, he’ll thank you when he’s older for making such an effort to cater to his interests rather than force him to do boring things he can do when he’s an adult if he feels the desire to do so.


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