Every parent knows that at some point over the summer holidays they will reach breaking point. It might be the thousandth time a child whines “I’m bored”. Or perhaps the moment you finish inflating the ridiculous unicorn or bright orange kayak they insisted on buying. Only to watch them walk away and become engrossed in the TV, but it always, always, happens.

According to a survey by Legoland Birmingham, 40% of parents say the summer holidays are the most stressful time of year. The Elite Nanny team spoke to a number of our excellent nanny candidates to find out what they recommend to help you avoid your breaking point.

Summer camp is your best friend

And not just for the kids! Booking children into summer camp, at least a couple of days a week. It gives you some breathing space and one of the best ways to use that opportunity is to find a summer activity for yourself. Whether you take a six week yoga class, or invest in a weekend learning patchwork, garden design or how to manage your financial portfolio. It’s really important to give yourself the same experience as your children. Learning something new in a fun environment.

Snack suffering in the summer holidays

When children won’t stop pestering you for ice cream and sweets, for crisps and babycinos.  Not only is it natural to give in, it’s just too easy to enjoy an indulgent treat for yourself. Our nannies suggest a couple of ways to deal with the snack situation. First, why not get the kids involved in a healthy snack creating session? Aprons on, and ideas at the ready, you can make.

  1. Frozen banana and peanut butter stacks.
  2. Crudites and dip (they can stir things like chopped fresh herbs into shop-bought dips to ‘personalise’ them).
  3. Frozen fruit stashes – freeze a selection of chopped fruit and berries in muffin trays to make quick smoothies in your blender.
  4. Fruit kebabs – just take care with bamboo skewers and little fingers.

Second, draw a snack pie. Get each child to colour in whether each snack they eat is healthy (green) or unhealthy (red). A completely green day should earn a special treat like a small toy or a trip out the following day. It’s a wonderful way to start your child on the road to healthy eating.

Shopping woes with small children

While online grocery shopping is clearly your best friend in the summer break. There’s one way to make the food shop fascinating: go to market! Whether it’s a cheap as chips local market or an upscale organic foodie fest. Your nearest fresh foods market is likely to give your kids hours of fun while you get to browse for necessary ingredients. One of our most experienced nannies suggests giving each child a small budget and asking them to find the most exotic fruit or vegetable they can discover. This gives you all a kitchen adventure. Researching how to cook the unfamiliar ingredient. You can offer a prize for the most surprising ingredient. Who knows, it might lead to a lifetime of adventurous eating!

Hire a holiday nanny

To give your regular nanny a good break. Whilst not burdening yourself, considering hiring a temporary nanny for a couple of weeks of the summer holiday.

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