3 tips for dealing with children during the spring break

Parenting experts share some helpful tips for those who have children staying home during the spring break.

Never fear, parenting experts are here

Here are three tips for parents to get them through a chaotic spring break. (Getty Images)

Spring break is in full swing for many students across British Columbia, and it can sometimes be challenging for parents to decide how to keep their children occupied.

"It's 'how can I get my things done, while keeping them busy,'" said Kay Protheroe, co-founder of the Healthy Family Expo in North Vancouver. 

Protheroe, a mother and expert on family dynamics, joined Heather van Mil, the founder of Word of Mom Marketing during CBC's B.C. Almanac to give some helpful tips to get parents through what can sometimes be a stressful spring break.

Community centres

"Our go to is usually the community centres," said van Mil, a mother of two.

She said there are a wide variety of low-cost activities offered by community centres around the Lower Mainland including indoor skating and swimming.

There are many free services offered by centres as well, she said, and once a child is eight, they can use the services without their parent present.

"You can drop them off ... They can have a good time getting all that energy out," said van Mil.

Work vs. quality time

Protheroe said many parents struggle to find a balance between getting work done and spending quality time with their children.

"A lot of places you're looking for the Wi-Fi," said Protheroe.

She said spring break is a rare time when children have free time during the day, and it's important to reserve a few of those hours for bonding experiences.

Because it's unusual  for some kids to spend time with their parents during the middle of the day, Protheroe said those bonding experiences will take on a special significance to the child.

Van Mil suggests seeking out parents with similar working situations and teaming up with them to take turns babysitting.

'There is no bad weather'

"We've gotten our kids really used to the idea that there is no bad weather, there's just bad clothing," said van Mil.

She said she instills the idea in her children that there are outdoor activities to be done all year round. If it's snowing, her children play in the snow. If it's raining, her children play in the mud.

"We try and find a little bit of time everyday to get outside, even just to walk around the block," she said. A quick walk or a romp in the garden will have a calming effect, she said, and can make a chaotic day more manageable.

With files from B.C. Almanac