How to help your kid plan their own vacation? Step-by-Step example of a 7 year old

The mini summer vacation has just kicked off and keeping the kid occupied at home all the time becomes a bit of challenge.

Normally/mostly parents enforce kids to go to different activity classes, so they are away from them (like in school). I see more than learning and having fun, keeping them occupied and away becomes the key focus for parents.

Our focus is to keep them occupied but with their own choices. We want to give them freedom to choose and win/fail (with few restrictions and guidance).

With keeping this in mind, I took my 7 year old kid through following planning activity (which I do lot of time with my clients):

Step 1: How many holidays you’ve?

Making him write the beginning and end dates of holiday was the first thing. After that we counted how many days are in between. We ended up with 9 Days.

Step 2: You are important

Making him important was second thing. The choices he was going to make should be fun and beneficial to him. When he choose any activity, the question was asked – How will this benefit you? How will this be fun? For example: At one point he said I like to watch 3 movies a day. When the question – How watching 3 movies a day will benefit you? He realised that this is not something be helpful and healthy.

Step 3: List of activities

We started listing all the things he loves or likes to do in the 9 days. Also he understood that for these activities, he doesn’t have to have a structured day (like school).Obviously iPad and watching TV was the start, after that playing and exercise came. He chose the books he is going to read. Eventually a little bit of rigour and revision of studies was listed (thank god, a must have thing for every parents).

The key in this step is to define action not outcome. Reading book (action) not Finish reading two books (outcome).

Step 4: Frequency

To make him understand that there is finite amount of time, the next task was to list frequency of each action. For example: Swimming was listed 5 days out of 9. Cricket was listed everyday. Cycling 6 km was 2 days in a week. Doing study revision was 1 hour per day. We even decided to have 4 days food in restaurant.

This task helped him do basic time management.

The four step helped him feel that he is in control of his time. These type of activities are called brainstorming which helps with their logical thinking.

As my kid is a visual learner, we did the whole exercise on a whiteboard (see attached photo)

Let me know in comments what could be the challenges you might face giving control to your kid.

Mrugank Patel