Vacation season has come and our streets are already awash with many bright, young and promising faces. Exams are over and our children are celebrating their free time moving around, visiting friends and family. It is important that children are allowed some stress-free time after a year-long struggle with academic requirements. Unstrained mind and unburdened head help young minds reflect on the essence of their being and to chart their aims and dreams.

However, as is too often said, too much free time is certainly a monkey’s paw in disguise. The danger is that excessive free time has a way of making one’s life utterly structureless.

Unable to handle too much free time, children engage in activities that are detrimental to both parents and themselves. Often they come in conflict with law. Devoid of guidance and care from parents and elders, young people loiter around towns seeking trouble. Already a sizeable number of them are in the city corners dark and bright, engaging themselves in unhealthful habits.

Very soon another group of young people will come out on the street. Class X and XII students will finish their exams on Saturday. This is the time when crime rate in the towns and cities go up. This is the time when parents need to watch what their children are doing.

It doesn’t have to be that young people should be left on their own, to do whatever they want to do, just because they are out of school for sometime. There are many activities aimed at engaging young people gainfully. Many skills development programmes are being planned to encourage young people to participate. Parents could do well by exploring them and encouraging children to participate in some of the programmes which will go a long way in shaping their future.

What about reading, the most easy and profitable of all engagements? Parents could take children to libraries and bookshops and teach them to love books. In this competitive age, it is important that our children read, and read a lot. Employment scenario is changing by the day and jobs are becoming scarcer. It is not enough that our children do well. They need to outshine their peers.

This is also the season when children will travel a lot. It is important that you do so with caution. Disasters can be averted if we are a little careful.

Happy holiday!