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Lifestyle | 30 Apr 2021 | By Sun International

All in the family

Father and son at Sun City Resort's Sun Vacation Club | Photo by Jordan Milton

Experts recommend rebuilding family traditions after the lockdown to help kids adjust to the new normal.

Following a COVID-19 lockdown that left many feeling blue, South Africa is now open for business and leisure. While the pandemic has been devastating all round, children are among the worst affected as they struggle to make sense of the sudden changes to their lives. 

UK-based clinical psychologist Dr Emma Svanberg advises parents to be patient with their children during this time. “It’s going to be hard; life will feel different and there will be a lot of new things to get used to. We will all – our children and us – have some grieving to do for the things we miss from before the pandemic,” Svanberg told Harpersbazaar.com.

One way to help your kids is to revive and strengthen bonds by establishing family traditions. Experts advocate for the upholding of family traditions or rituals to keep children reassured and comforted.

According to creativechild.com, family traditions are any meaningful activities that families undertake repeatedly and result in a sense of belonging and safety for members, especially children. 

George Washington University psychiatrist Dr Steven Wolin says children who grow up in families with strong rituals are more likely to become resilient adults. 

If your family doesn’t already have established rituals, here are some ideas.

Movie night

Switch off the lights and enjoy a family movie night in pyjamas. Just before the screening, get everyone to help make popcorn and slushies.

A celebration – for the fun of it

Every month, host a celebration at home. It doesn’t have to be anything meaningful. Get your children to come up with ideas. Once you’ve decided on a theme, go all out with decorations, balloons, party hats, and even a cake!

Date with the parents

Parents should set aside one-on-one time with each child once a month. Get your children to choose the date and activities within a set budget. This is an opportunity for each child to feel special, bond with their parents, and open up about any struggles.

Road trip

Pack the family into the car and set out on an adventure-filled road trip that is about the journey, rather than the destination. Come up with fun games for the road – try seeing who can spot animals along the road. The person with the highest tally is exempt from chores for a month!

School’s out!

Having been denied so many outings over the past year, many children worry about what lies ahead for them over the mid-year break. Why not make it an extra-special school holiday by taking them off for a holiday to remember at Sun City Resort? You'll enjoy access to a myriad of activities, including water-filled fun at Valley of the Waves, children’s entertainment at Kamp Kwena and enthralling arcade games at The Magic Company at Sun Central.

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