I’m sure there will be a fair few parents reading this who’ve spent a large part of the last few weeks with the house ringing to that familiar summer holiday cry: “I’m bored!”
Yes, the long school summer holidays are in full swing and I’ve already heard a few tales of sobbing, tired and flustered parents at the end of their tether of how to keep their kids entertained.
I’ve also seen a fair few chuckling responses from teachers, no doubt sniggering into their prosecco as they kick back and relax with little sympathy for the grumbling mums and dads who’ve foisted off their kids into the classroom for a large chunk of the year and are now discovering that their little Johnny really is quite a handful isn’t he, just as the report said.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m realistic enough to understand that many parents have to work through the summer to provide for their kids and so grandparents, childminders, friends and holiday clubs all have to be brought into play to keep youngsters entertained.
However, many of the dissenting voices (and I heard and saw several severely flustered parents on a stroll around Doncaster town centre the other day) are from ones who simply have no idea of things to do to fill up the holidays.
There’s plenty of things - and it needn’t cost a bomb. My lads will happily pick up a football and take it to the park - although that said, there’s always the lure of Netflix, YouTube and games consoles fighting to lure them away from the great outdoors.
But Doncaster has plenty going for it - and plenty of places to check out. Cusworth, Brodsworth, Doncaster Museum, Conisbrough Castle - all are on the doorstep and if you haven’t been to any of them for a few years, you may be pleasantly surprised.
There’s parks - Sandall Park is one of my personal favourites, where if you’ve got younger ones, you can while hours away in the play area or feed the ducks - but don’t be going feeding them bread will you? It’s not good for them andwas in part responsible for the recent tragedy which saw the deaths of dozens of birds.
I’ve heard tales of some parents fobbing their kids off to grandparents and childminders just so the mums and dads can ‘have a breather’ and a ‘few drinks.’
OK, nobody begrudges the odd night off, but I heard of one mum who’d dumped off her two children for two weeks - just so she could go and sozzled every night in Ibiza.
Children can be challenging and present us with a myriad of problems, whatever the age.
But at the end of the day, they are still YOUR responsbility and the six week summer holiday should be seen as a time to create memories, do new and fun things together and develop bonds with your children rather than being seen as something to be dreaded.