Friday, March 21, 2014

Day 1628 - Rest and Recovery Day

Giving the kids a break ...

Image source
When Chelsea was little she had a friend who used to get days off school just "because".  I was mortified that parents would be that slack.  Fast forward to raising my own two and I've discovered the benefits of a "just because" break from school.



We call it a rest and recovery day and we schedule one each term for each child.  It's a day when they get to stay home with Mum for some one on one time, to do something they enjoy, to break the monotony of "same old, same old" and to give them something to look forward to.  Each child has a different day (they don't have the day together). We call it a rest and recovery day and I've been doing it for around four years now.

By offering them just one day a term where they get to be home with Mum when the rest of the world is at school/work makes them feel special.  It's their rostered day off.  Sure they get school holidays, public holidays and weekends, but everyone gets those.  Their rest and recovery day is exclusively for them. It makes for less whining and also cuts down the whole "I'm feeling sick" gig that can start to occur towards the end of term.

These days don't come free.  Like with any "rostered day off" or "flex day" you have to earn the privilege.  This isn't about teaching the kids that they can ditch work or school whenever they feel like it. It's about saying, if you work hard all term and put in the extra effort, you'll be rewarded with some extra down-time.

For Tahlia her days off are kind of worked out for her these days.  It usually involves a photo shoot - but give that's something she enjoys we include it as her "rest and recovery day".

For Darby it's a day of XBox or skateboarding or an outing with Mum.

Both my kids had their rest and recovery days this week.

Tahlia's was on Tuesday and started with a sleep in.  We then had her hairdresser appointment, followed by a cruise through the shops, some take-away for lunch and the afternoon spent in a small country town getting photographed by one of Canberra's most renowned all round photographers - Martin Ollman.


Darby's was on Wednesday and also started with a sleep in followed by pyjama time in front of the Disney Channel.  His then involved a quick trip to the dentist (he actually requested a check up believe it or not) followed by driving to two different skateboard parks around town to test out the facilities without the rest of the adolescent world crowding the joint.  His day also included a cruise through the shops and some take-away for lunch.



Both kids have finished this week feeling re-energised, reconnected and important. I think that's the big thing with these days. The fact that we are reconnecting at a deeper parent/child level through their own special day off doing the things that they love to do, at a time when everyone else is still in the classroom.  It means a stronger focus on them as individuals rather than a member of a family or group.

Anyway, the older they get the harder it's going to be to pull them out of the school system.  But we'll continue to break the mould by encouraging our children to live a full life that shows that working hard and staying focused brings rewards of downtime for good work/life balance.

To be honest, this goes against everything I believed in 10, 15, 20 years ago.  Age and wisdom has taught me that life's too short to become too heavily trapped in routine.  Sometimes you've just got to break out and celebrate your own personal existence.


14 comments :

  1. I met a woman once who used to go and take one of her 4 kids out for school early to have some one-on-one time with them...she'd get them at lunch and they'd have lunch together and do something before getting the others. Same deal...
    It's not a thing we do, but we miss a little school thru travel, so we are already on catch up...

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  2. Love it. BEAUTIFUL photos. I like the idea of one-on-one time. I know it's very early days in my family life, but it feels like every day is just EVERYONE ALL THE TIME NOISE CHAOS EVERYONE AAARGH. Looking forward to one-on-ones. One day.

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  3. I think RDOs for kids is a brilliant idea and I will definitely do it with my kids. Gorgeous pics btw. What a lovely way to spend and afternoon.

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  4. I think RDOs for kids is a brilliant idea and I will definitely do it with my kids. Gorgeous pics btw. What a lovely way to spend and afternoon.

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  5. I think RDOs for kids is a brilliant idea and I will definitely do it with my kids. Gorgeous pics btw. What a lovely way to spend and afternoon.

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  6. I think this is a perfectly feasible idea. It's good parenting to show your kids you love to spend quality time with them. Personally I think teachers need an RDO every term too :)

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  7. It sounds like a great idea - a recovery day - adults choose them but kids miss out.

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  8. Who doesn't need a rest and recovery day every now and then? :)

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  9. I'm a teacher and I thought I would never do it too. But sometimes they get so tired I think its better to enjoy a quiet day than keep pushing them until they end of sick.

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  10. I'm a teacher and I thought I would never do it too. But sometimes they get so tired I think its better to enjoy a quiet day than keep pushing them until they end of sick.

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  11. I LOVE the sound of this, although with all the assessments that kids have these days, I do hope it won't make the next day harder. But you know MEH, whatever. I am SO going to do this next week! Thanks for inspiration! xx

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  12. I love this idea, Leanne. The boys started pre-school this year and I can see that there are days where they're just tired by the end of the week and perhaps, a day at home wouldn't have been a bad idea.
    I think I'll start doing it. With the twins, especially, they'd love that extra one on one time.

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  13. I will never forget the look on Boy 1's Grade 2 teacher's face when he walked in one morning all a quiver to announce "Mrs R, I am having a mental health day!"

    (We were there to drop off Boy 2 at school - one grade lower)

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  14. Oh, and even now in Grades 9 and 10 we still do them. We just have to time them a little better.

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I love hearing your thoughts! Keep them rolling in :)

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