THE holiday period may be a happy time for schoolchildren but it could also be a risky one as they may end up squandering time and money while engaging in unhealthy activities especially when they are left unsupervised.
Some children feel that the school holiday is the perfect time for them to do whatever they want. On the other hand, it is a great challenge for parents to ensure that their children spend their free time doing things that would be beneficial for them.
Parents need to tell their children that something that is interesting is not always right and that something which is good is not always boring. Sometimes, when it comes to making a move to ameliorate a situation, it is either now or never as there will come a time when it will be too difficult for children, especially the rebellious, immature and disobedient ones, to ditch their bad habits like smoking, loitering or watching pornography.
Parents need to set strict yet smart house rules. When children are trained to wake up and go to bed early, make their bed, leave a place clean and keep their bedroom spick and span, they will eventually become organised, disciplined, independent and responsible individuals who know how to manage themselves effectively.
This will make it easier for them to manage time, finance and stress.
Physically, mentally and emotionally, unhealthy activities like staying up all night playing video games, watching TV drama series or sharing and checking updates on social media should be prohibited.
Instead, children should have limited screen time as this digital immersion encourages sedentary lifestyles and affects the development of social interaction skills. The overuse of gadgets will neither help them forget problems nor relieve stress.
Reading, gardening, cycling, fishing and having a picnic by a lake are therapeutic ways to spend time. Books will expand knowledge and imagination while nature, quietness and togetherness will clear minds, soothe souls and calm hearts. Consequently, children will gradually find joy, interest and comfort in living a healthy lifestyle.
We need to save our children from being influenced by ridiculous trends that lead to living dangerous lifestyles.
Instead of becoming late-night sleepers, addicted gamers, rule breakers and Internet abusers, let us turn them into early risers, avid readers, optimistic thinkers and nature lovers.
MUHAMAD SOLAHUDIN RAMLI