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Summer Holidays part Three

Rachel Fearnley
Summer Holidays part Three

The summer holidays are getting very close now and I would guess schools around the UK are gearing up for the end of term. In my latest blog about school holidays I am again thinking about what the six weeks holidays might mean to children who are living with a parent who has a life-limiting illness. My research showed how school can become an irrelevant place for children when their parent has a life-limiting illness. The worries, uncertainties and concerns about what is happening at home can play a significant role in this. Suddenly education and all that school stands for can become less important when the dominant thoughts are about their parent’s health and well-being. But equally school can represent a safe oasis in the middle of all that is happening. School provides routines and structure which might be missing at home because of the illness. So for many children the school holidays will represent a time where their predictable routines are going to be temporarily lost. School offers some normality unlike the illness that often feels as though it is not safe or predictable. So I wonder if the school holiday can represent a time of big changes. Does the understanding that routines are going to be very different have an impact on children? Does this result in them feeling anxious and fearful about what the holidays are going to bring? Does being at school offer some ‘protection’ for the children? When in school they are not witnessing everything that is happening at home whereas during the holiday they are potentially hearing phone calls, seeing all the different professionals coming to the house and all the appointments with health and social care professionals. What are your thoughts?  

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