Is your summer developing as you imagined?…Having time to be with your family, laughing together, relaxed and happy…Meeting new people, exploring new places…
If it is not unfolding as you imagined, and your children are stuck behind their screens, stressed in the morning to get to camp, or constantly saying “I’m bored” since they got used to so many activities during the school year, please consider these tips.
Our children will do better with some kind of structure, plans and routine that allow for predictability. Finding the balance between having programmed activities without over-scheduling is key. We want them to have an enjoyable summer in which they do not have the stress of the school months, so even when we want to do many activities, keep your plans active and relaxed at the same time.
Make a list of things you and your children want to do, remember to use your time together wisely, to connect with your children, enjoying these moments that will not come back. Make a schedule with the activities in the list, set aside time to have fun with your children. Even if you work all summer, you can make some time to share with your family.
Have a relaxed summer yourself, keep in mind that your own positive attitude elicits a positive attitude. If you are stressed-out, your children will be-stressed-out and your shared moments will be tainted by stress.
Have your children use some spare time, without screens. Help them learn to have a positive relationship with themselves, enjoying their own company.
Be creative and encourage creativity in your child. This is the time to try something new, to explore things that can be interesting and fun…trying out some new sports game, becoming an artist, a photographer…practicing basketball to score every time…
Unlimited screen time is harmful, so it is important to limit, monitor and be strict about the amount of time they spend absorbed by their screens each day. The more time children have without screens, the more creative they get.
Include exercise in their daily schedule, exercise helps them (and us) release energy in a healthy and positive way. When exercise involves being a team member, it also becomes social.
Don’t forget to make plans with others. We are social beings, and your child might miss some of their friends and their interactions with other adults and other people.
If you are planning a vacation away from home, make sure you share your excitement with your children, share the places and activities you are planning. This will help them with transitions and your excitement will ignite excitement in them.
Sometimes anxiety, stress and difficult moments are inevitable, plan for a few dreadful moments derived from transitioning and anxiety. Make sure you make most of the day’s fun, so that the few moments of grumpiness doesn’t pollute your summer time.
Make sure there is some reading time and visits to the library. Fun stories nurture a child’s imagination and ignite creativity. Reading books is the best antidote to have your child forget many skills learned at school during the summer.
Summer and our kids’ childhood will be over soon enough, so make the best of this opportunity and make sure you make a collection of summer memories just before school starts.