The writer grew up in a home of four children, albeit in the eighties, but that’s only for setting the scene. At the tail-end of the December holidays our wonderfully strict, beautiful, and budget-savvy mother understandably lost her remaining marbles, threw her apron over her head, and sent a very vocal wish into the universe to grant her patience until the school bell comes to the rescue. And not a minute sooner. Another day of moaning, moping and bored expressions were quite enough.

The reality is: even if your kids love reading, can manoeuvre a skateboard like it’s an extension of their feet, hold their breath for a ridiculous amount of time underwater, or know the controls of the console far better than where the dishwashing liquid is kept, they’re kids … and they WILL look at you even if it’s a beautiful sunny day and say their life ‘sucks’ and they’re ‘bored out of their ‘skulls’.

Here are some tips to ensure a win-win situation:

Galleries, game parks and zoos offer wonderful holiday packages, discounted entry fees or free passes. The wonderment of these spaces will guarantee a buzz in those little minds.

The sea is for free. So are walks. Let those endorphins go bananas. Round up the whole family. These moments make the world go round.

Eat meals at the table and tell them of the time you got detention for drawing a villain in your textbook that resembled the maths teacher. Kids love to know their parents were kids too. You’re guaranteed a captive audience.

Don’t underestimate the fun to be had by playing ‘old-school’ board games. Retrieve them from the back of the cupboard in the spare room, dust them off and set out on a quest to reveal that Colonel Mustard (and not Professor Plum) committed the crime in the library with a wrench.

Who’s bored now?