While we were on holiday this year to Grannies Heilan Hame, it was obvious that lots of kids run to and from the holiday park shop, brandishing the third or fourth £5 or £10 item of the night. Wheedling loudly, some slurring parents giggle at the kids who are coshing the have-nots over the head with their new-found lighty up things.
The giggling turns to annoyance as they hand over fivers and tenners a time for their kids to pop off and visit the arcades downstairs. I usually sit as far away from them as I can, scattered among the other disbelieving parents and wonder at how they can give each child £10 – £20 and often much more to spend each and every day they are on holiday. They fritter it away in arcade machines or spend on rubbish from the holiday park shops. This year, balloon machines seemed to be the most popular toy of choice.
Given how much my kids struggle, I’m quite pleased with how they take not being so flush with money as many of the other kids. Mine usually grumble, but they live with it and accept reasonably well that their friends often have a never-ending supply of tenners in their young pockets.
I give mine £2.50 a day each to spend on what they want most days, and they are often happy enough with that. I top up for a holiday park junk purchase on the last night and they seem to accept that well and I think what I give them is a lot to give kids on holiday. One of mine gets more annoyed than the others about how much (or little as he sees it) they get, but being on holiday helps and they get on with enjoying it as best they can.
I just don’t know how some families do it. Do they just not eat at home so that their kids have what I think is a fortune a week to spend on junk? I know it’s easier with one child than with multiples, but even so, it’s still a lot of money per child.
I know that taking kids out for a day is expensive, and that even a cinema trip would set us back a small fortune even if I do take drinks and sweets with us, but I’d never do that every day. Some of my kids friends are out EVERY day of the school holidays and not to cheap or free things either.
What I can never work out is when these kids ever learn to be bored. If they don’t learn to be bored, how are they going to amuse themselves from boredom when it’s really needed? Perhaps having special needs makes it more important that kids learn to cope with being bored, but all I see is a large part of a whole new generation that may end up as whole life credit junkies.
I made sure my kids were bored for part of our holiday, and they relieved it by digging holes in the sand and watching them fill up again when the tide came in.
Lets bring on more boredom and free activities, and get our kids doing more of the 50 things for free, it’s good for them.
Some of the 50 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU’RE 11 ¾ from the National Trust we did again.
5. Skim a stone.
6. Hunt for treasure on the beach.
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
- Digging a huge hole in the sand and letting the sea fill it in.
- Play football on the beach.
- Talk to a sheep.