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Ensuring happy festive holiday for children

Educational Journey with EPHAT MUDENDA
SCHOOLCHILDREN will need to enjoy their final holiday of the year 2017, especially that it is a festive season. They have worked hard during the course of the term and it is now time to rest.

This period offers the pupils and their families a great opportunity to relax and have a break. This is despite the fact that, sometimes, holidays may be challenging and stressful for some children, especially if they are not sure what to do while they are at home.
For others, time away from the demands of academic activities in a school environment can be a positive experience and the return to school after a period of ‘downtime’ at home can prove to be a very big challenge.
Since parents are fully aware of the fact that peer pressure is not only present at school, but also within the broader community, they must provide an environment in which children – while on holiday – live up to their (parents’) expectations.
Peer pressure can be defined as the influence that one feels from a person or group of people for one to do something they might not otherwise consider doing. A peer can be any person around the same age as you; your friend, classmate, or one who you have seen on television and take them to be your role model.
Children, like any other human being, want to be part of a group and feel they truly belong in a community. But the most important question to consider is: what kind of friends do they associate with while they are on holiday?
Peer pressure can sometimes be positive and help motivate an individual to do their best. However, in most cases, it negatively influences young people in a number of ways. These include engaging in alcohol and drug abuse, trying different immoderate dress styles and rushing into ‘affairs’ and other undesirable behavioural patterns.
School holidays are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable for children – they must be helped to feel the celebratory mood this festive season. Though they do not need to be filled with activities throughout. Parents and guardians need to put in place strategies that will help children to attend different fun-filled and entertainment events. Such a programme does not require huge amounts of money.
They should be activities that young ones enjoy most. For example, if one enjoys singing, they can be encouraged to be singing some gospel songs with the rest of the family, while at the same time allowing them to attend different church programmes.
Playing with musical instruments – if these are available – especially in the company of friends, can be enriching to young people’s character and mental growth. In addition, computers can truly add flavour to such home activities.
Both girls and boys are expected to be orientated to kitchen activities. They will not be there just to get the aroma of the foods being cooked, but to take part in preparing simple meals, including making chips, popcorn, preparing soup, among other things.
Those who love art should be provided with all the necessary tools that will enable them to enjoy nurturing their artistic talents from a home environment. Whether their favourite pastime is painting or drawing, they must be encouraged to enhance their skills. All this will definitely prove to be of great benefit to them in the future.
During this holiday, let us take our little ones to amusement parks, shopping malls, cinemas, and restaurants. Of course, such outside-the-house ventures are refreshingly different and offer a unique experience to all those involved.
The planned activities and outings should be those that suit your child, your family and resources available.
Let the children experience the true freedom of having a break from the routine and structure of every school day. They should experience the festive mood in a truly enriching manner this season.
emudenda@daily-mail.co.zm/ ephatm@yahoo.com

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