How do holidays make your child happier and smarter?
Adults look forward to their holidays to relax, get away from work and stock up on energy again.
Children look forward to fun time with their parents, when they are not at work or organising home life but concentrating on THEM.
Parents play with their children on holidays and give their children their favourite thing – time. The message that is being sent to a child on holiday is that the parents love being with them and plumps up their self-esteem. The time together is vital for bonding and a form of attachment play.
Compared to home life, a family holiday is a very important part of the year.
At home 2/3 of conservations between parent and child are about daily routine.
65% of parents say they only play occasionally with their children.
One in six fathers say they had no idea how to play with their child and a 1/3 said they didn’t have time.
¼ of children say they talk to parents more than once a week about something that matters.
Health worries are a big concern in families but relationship health within the family is equally important for physical benefits.
Holidays can also accelerate brain development in children. On holiday two genetically ingrained systems deep in the brain’s limbic area are being exercised, which can be very lazy at home. One is PLAY and one is SEEKING.
The PLAY system is exercised each time you bury your child in the sand or tickle them and the SEEKING system is exercised each time you go exploring together, the beach or a village.
Professor Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist from Washington State University identified these brain systems. He discovered that once these systems are activated on a family holiday, they in turn trigger well-being neurochemicals including opioids and dopamine. He calls them ‘nature’s gift to us”, as they reduce stress and activate warm feelings towards one another and a sense that the world is all well.
The more these systems are used, the more they become part of the personality. They are a healing substance within oneself that needs to be drawn upon.
The outside holiday activities will also bring greater brain development, concentration skills and social interaction.