Friday, December 19, 2014

I'm too old for vacation care!

It's arrived.  The 12.5 year old boy child who already thinks he's 22 and in charge of his own life. Occasional glimpses of my sweet, tender, gentle boy peek out between the lashes of the billy goat gruff.  Sigh, always knew it was coming, still a shock when it's here!

 My problem, however, is not BGG, for I know it too will pass.  It's actually vacation care.  Entering high school next year, vacation care no longer exists!  The problem is, not only does he have a 9 year old sister, who will still require vacation care, but I actually think he's too young to be spending vacation days at home alone.  All that unsupervised internet at the very least.  He wouldn't be allowed out of the house, so I'm not so worried about his wandering the neighbourhood, although it's a slippery slope, and I'm sure it wouldn't be long before "Mum my can't I meet my friends at the wherever?"  The other issue of course is little girl then feels hard done by, if BGG is allowed to stay home, and she has to go to vacation care.  Another Mum at my work faces the same dilemma - her eldest is a girl, and she has two younger siblings.  Her daughter is already telling her she's too old to go to vacation care - at least my son hasn't cottoned on to that just yet, but I know it's coming (I wonder if I can still sneak him into vacation care with my daughter?)

I know many have trodden the boards before me - what does one do when vacation care disappears?
Or are the apron strings too tight?

Vacation care is an Australian version, I think, of Summer Camp - run by the YMCA (and other places), for days when school is not on, and held Monday to Friday of all school holidays (breaks?).  It's for ages up to 12 years and held at your child's school.  It's day care only, dropping off each morning, picking up each evening.  


  1. I only have one and I am very grateful that she can stay home by herself. She's 14, in her first year of HS here in the US, and has been hanging out at home when school is closed for the last two years. Not all summer - she has to have a plan for at least three days of the week during the summer, if she's not at camp. She appreciates the downtime. We also let her roam the neighborhood - she walks down to the store two blocks away to buy snacks and meets her friends at the park - as long as she tells us where she is at all times.

  2. My kids are 11 and 13 and we have a "nanny" - I hate the term, the kids prefer it to "babysitter". She drives them home from school, coordinates their after school activities and sees that chores and homework are done. We use her on days off and vacations as well, though my husband works at home and so he often will get them up and going in the AM and have the nanny start later in the day. We all have a great relationship with her and I'm so grateful for her. Having a personal relationship works better for my kids than school-based or group care would and I like that she can take them to classes, activities and bring friends over to our house. I hope that she will stay forever (or at least until June '17 when I finish med school!)!!!

  3. America needs vacation care! (Right Fizzy?)

  4. I have had to deal with this for the past 1.5 years with my 13.5 year old son. At first I used to 'face-time' him every hour but over time have relaxed and seen him mature with the responsibility. The other day he rang me to say he had trodden on a bee, gone upstairs and found the tweezers, removed the stinger, made sure none was left in and called me to inform me of the incident. He was calm and very proud of as he put it "performing his own first aid". So was I. (Yes thank goodness he is not allergic to bees). I would like to think that our medical experience as medical mums and how we approach emergencies has rubbed off on him. Set good boundaries for your son, explain it is a privilege staying at home alone and have some trust your parenting will set him in good stead. Best of luck!


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