Expert topics

The importance of annual vacations

Everyone has felt tiredness and its consequences on his own skin. Tiredness is the psychophysical reaction of the organism to some activity. If we work for a long time, or we just simply wake up, we will feel a little bit of fatigue, exhaustion, etc. Tiredness is actually one of the protective mechanisms that prevents damage and overload of the body and gives time for recovering processes to recover the body from activity. The oldest, most widespread and most effective means of fighting fatigue is to rest. It is manifested in the form of interruption, slow motion or change of activity. Accordingly, when it comes to vacation, it is thought to be a vacation of all those activities that occupy most of our time throughout the year: work, everyday duties, school, extracurricular activities etc. Both children and parents have the opportunity to be engaged in activities that they do not usually have time to do. In particular, during the year parents are busy with work and various other obligations, while children spend most of the day in kindergarten or school, engaged in various extracurricular activities, but everyone needs a little bit of relaxation and fun. This is why we often consider annual holidays as the most beautiful part of the year. Also, it is the time for the family.

There are some rules that must be followed to make the rest more efficient, and this also applies to holidays. The basic rule is that a vacation activity should be in contrast to the one that caused fatigue. For this reason, it is useful to travel from time to time, to change the environment. Equally, as in the daily rest, it is said that it is more effective to have short, properly distributed holidays than a long-term one. That’s why it’s nice to have a holiday all year round and if there are opportunities to travel for at least a few days. In case there is the possibility, the trip should be planned wisely and choose a destination that offers parents and children time for rest and fun, and, of course, for learning.

Travel

The travel planning is an important part of the travel experience itself. The activities that require the planning and joint organization (such as starting a common journey) have a positive effect on the flexibility and connectivity of the whole family. Also, the planning phase is often the happiest travel phase. Therefore, it is important that planning involves all family members and that you start planning well at the begining in order to increase the level of anticipation, but also to reduce stress. The arrival to the destination is certainly an opportunity in which parents can stay with their children who are looking for many new activities (for example, social games, sports activities, excursions) because any kind of stimulation such as excursions or joint activities are excellent opportunities for children’s development and for the development of relationships and connection between children and parents.

Of course, you do not need to travel to spend a pleasant and quality holiday. Relaxing at home with trips to the surroundings, the beach or the swimming pool can make your holiday unforgettable. It is important that there is change, especially for children. With this you promote new ideas, so if you stay at home, visit with children new parks and playgrounds, visit a museum or art gallery, learn about the activities of the local community, such as concerts, fairs, events, festivals, theater shows for children or any activities or workshops organized to involve children – it is important to do something new. Inside and around the house there are also many possible ways to spend quality time with the children: for example, having breakfast or lunch on the terrace or in the garden, learning new skills together, going out with friends that also didn’t traveled, some sports and much more.

However, school holidays last longer than the parents holidays and many parents find themselves in a situation that is little to be envied as their children have to be alone, at least during a part of their holidays. Or, what often happens in tourist destinations, as it is also in our case, parents work throughout the summer. In these circumstances, children have to be alone, with the TV or the PC as their nanny, without parental supervision. You need to take care about the little children, and if we do not have the ‘grandmother service’ available, then you should include the children in a summer camp. But even older children should not remain without the supervision of an adult person. In any case, it is important that you prepare the plan in advance for this part of the summer holidays, organize the free time of the children, which means, in agreement with the children, make a small daily programs-getting up, having breakfast, working exit out, etc. Children must not be bombarded with daily obligations, condition morning awakening and similar things, but it is great to give them small tasks so that the day is realized with useful contents.

Annual holidays – time spent with the family

The annual holidays are the right time to stay with your family. due to the various obligations, the accelerated pace of life, but also the technology that affects all aspects of our lives, the family spend a little time together, although many studies emphasize the importance of the time children spend with their parents and the protective role they have. Everyday leisure time with your own family related to family cohesion (a sense of attachment among family members) and the number of positive outcomes for the development of children, especially young children. This is therefore related to socio-emotional, physical and cognitive development and language development.

Some of the most important aspects of spending time together are communication, the involvement of parents in the lives of children and the commitment of the parents, but also the expectations of parents in confrontation with their children. Research has shown that:

  • communication of parents with school-age children is positively linked to their children’s school success
  • adolescents with parents involved in their lives have fewer problems in their behavior and rather use aggressive ways of solving problems
  • the feeling of anxiety is related to contact and communication with parents. This feeling is so small because there is more presence of parents at home, the commitment of parents and expectations regarding the academic and performance in the school of their teenagers.školskog i akademskog postignuća njihova adolescenta.
  • common meals are an important family habit as it has been shown that among adolescents who regularly make dinner with their parents there is a lower possibility that they will use addictive substances.

Spending time in nature

The children today spend too much time indoors, sitting or in front of the TV or the PC, and always less outdoors, moving, despite the awareness of the importance of being together in nature and the importance of physical activity. That is to say that physical activity is an integral part of the child’s natural development and it must be kept in mind that pre-school children need at least a couple of hours of non-structural games and physical activities, while pupils need at least a hour a day. Which means that leisure time, and so also rest should be exploited by actively staying actively in nature, as this type of behavior is linked to many positive effects on physical health (in which the most important are the strengthening of the immune system and the prevention of obesity) and on health issues (as these activities are linked to the development of creativity and imagination, with the strengthening of self-confidence and the low level of stress).

Parents and their free time

It is also important that parents respect their relationships and time to relax according to the possibilities and time available. Naturally, children are the center of attention, especially when they are small, dependent, especially dependent on their parents. Just as the adults of their choice have decided to be parents, they have the obligation and responsibility that most of their activities are dedicated to their children, to live responsibly and to dedicate themselves carefully to their children, to adapt their own life to the children formation, carefree growth and development and to enable them to learn and use unconditional love. However, this does not mean that parents do not have the right to a part of their personal free time as well as the time when they can together build up their relationship as partners. Indeed! It is important that parents have short or longer breaks that they can spend alone in relaxation and fun:

  • a shared lunch or a romantic dinner and a conversation while the children are sleeping
  • if you have access to grandparents or trusted friends with whom children can stay one or two hours a night, you can go to the cinema, take a walk in the city, spend an evening with two or friends and so on.
  • one of the possibilities is to spend a part of the holidays alone or with friends for a one-day trip or a weekend, but find the appropriate solutions for the care of little children or adolescents.

Conclusion

To conclude, holidays are necessary for children and adults! It is important to plan them carefully and use them to renew the energy for the new needs of life and work that are posed. It is less important if we leave the place of residence or we will have fun organizing our vacation at home. The most important thing is to relax, have fun and find time for family, friends and for yourself and choose activities and hobbies that we will feel satisfied and happy!

Tina Benčić, psychologist of the Healthy City of Poreč