To Holiday Or Not

To holiday or not, a decision significantly affected by the local authority

Having just returned from a week in Kos I can say it is so rewarding being able to spend 7 full days as a family and share each other’s company. It is also fantastic to watch the girls develop in front of your very eyes. You get to see things that maybe during the hustle bustle of day to day life you miss.

I did however get a sense of injustice from the experience. The girls love company, they love being around people, engaging with both adults and children which is quite funny to watch at times as they can make even the most cold-hearted man start attempting sign language, holding their hands or answering to their little demands.

However, this audience reaches a capacity, the girls do not Ike “busy”. The girls are comfortable in small groups where the volume and intensity of play is somewhat reduced. When this becomes increased, children start to take advantage, jumping the queues, pushing the girls out of the way (they are still a little unbalanced on their feet) and this makes the girls withdraw from the activity or arena.

Examples include kids club where they were initially settled until the games became about dragon hunting and loud noise making. The girls became extremely fearful and terrified to go back to the club, it seemed such a shame as they were enjoying it alongside Fin. We attempted to take them to the Chocolate party but couldn’t get them past the front door after this episode. Seemed such a shame.

Likewise when it came to kids disco in the evening it was a similar situation. They were fine for the first hour or so when it was the smaller children but as soon as the volume increased and the obligatory “holiday dances” began they became shy and scared, choosing to sit on our knees rather than dance even a few feet away from us.

I can somewhat accept the situation as I do not blame the children as they are simply having fun, I don’t blame the girls as they are always needing to feel safe and I don’t blame the entertainments team as they must accommodate the masses (and also they engaged with the girls throughout our holidays and made a massive effort). It is a case of growing up and becoming more out-going.

What I do resent is the governments decision regarding punishing parents for taking their children out of school for holidays. Family time is absolutely vital in our house and every opportunity is taken to ensure we spend time with each other and have a loving home. However, the girls would be able to have such a more fulfilling holiday when the resorts/hotels/venues were significantly quieter, we would be able to promote their learning and interaction more and feel it would be considerably more advantageous to be able to “enjoy” our holiday as much as the next family.

In exceptional circumstances schools can grant leave but I don’t feel I should have to justify myself in order to almost beg to be allowed time off. I will never let the girls condition be an “excuse” for anything despite it sometimes being a “reason”, there is a huge difference in the context. I must also add at this point that my issue is not with cost, if holidays in the term time where the same price as those outside of term time then I would then wish to take holidays when the girls would enjoy it to the maximum.

This said, the terminology is also important with regard to local authority action. I would quite happily pay a “fee” to remove my children for the family holiday however, in my opinion, a “fine” attacks my conscience and is a criticism and punishment of my parenting which is completely unjustified.

As a father I will ALWAYS do what is best for my children and as a parent feel the development of my children is my number one priority. I would never jeopardise Finlay’s education at the expense of such holidays and feel the life lessons about family, love, happiness are as important as those of academic achievement. I know in time the girls will grow and start “holding their own” but you never get a second chance at growing up and it seems as though the government imposing such strict and draconian principles is extremely harsh and seems to punish the people who this rule was never brought in for.