The sun is out more, the days are feeling longer, and children are getting antsy. Summer is right around the corner! One of the questions I get asked a lot this time of year is, “How do I make the most of summer as a family?” While the upcoming end of the school year seems like it should make for an easier schedule, it usually gets more hectic.
Here are some ways families can make the most of this upcoming summer:
Find a schedule that works.
Kids, and even teens, tend to feel less stressed when they are on a regular and predictable schedule. Summertime can be a challenging time for structure since the routine school day is gone. Try to find ways to make the day more predictable for your family. You may not be able to do the same thing every day but little moments can still have a large impact.
Connect on a daily basis.
One way to begin to build a routine is to make a pact as a family to connect everyday. Don’t let your kids get lost in their activities. Set a few minutes aside each day to talk about what each other did. It can be in the morning or when the family comes back together at night. Explore what your children enjoyed the most during their day and reconnect without the daily drag of homework. Starting this practice during the summer can set up the family for a great start to the next school year.
Make health and fun a priority for your children by finding time by getting physically active in the summer. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can reduce stress. What a perfect time to learn to de-stress before classes start up again! Kids will pick up their healthy habits from their parents. Get active as a family and enjoy the warmer weather!
Allow your children to have new experiences.
Summer is a great time to try new activities and sports that you may not have time for during the school year. Research has shown that summer camp can help make children more resilient to the stress of life and improve their overall development. Trying new things is also a great way to build confidence and a sense of control. Camps are a perfect way to accomplish all of those things in a positive environment.
…While always remembering safety!
More free time can also bring more time for distractions and temptations. Children and teens may be really excited to use the time off of school to devote to social media and their electronics. Limit unstructured use of electronics and talk to your children about healthy boundaries to have in their online social media.
LLebovitz @ GROWcounseling.com