Heather here from FamilyVolley.com and I couldn’t be more excited because…School’s. Out. For Summer! Today is our kids last day of school. Hard to believe, but summer break is here. This is a great time of year, but can also be overwhelming for families as they navigate the next two and a half months. Here are three tips that will help make your summer, the best yet.
First, SET GOALS.
I know what you are thinking, summer should be carefree, goals are for the school year. That is not the case. Now that summer is here, take a few minutes to sit down together and talk about what it is you want to accomplish this summer. Get an understanding of what each of your children hopes to have happen over the summer also. Everyone sees this time differently and without discussion and goals, the new school year will start before we know it, and people will fill dissatisfied and disappointed. For example, our son sees summer break as a time to relax. He wants fewer responsibilities and more down time. Our daughter on the other hand sees it as a time to “do more stuff.” Always wanting to go and see and do. I see summer as a time for us to be together and catch up on all those things we can’t get to during the school year, like cleaning out closets. Take time and set some goals that help each person feel heard and needs met and then decided on a daily/weekly basis how you are going to meet those goals. Not only will it give your family a direction, but everyone will feel included and satisfied.
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Second, KEEP A ROUTINE.
Again, I know what you are thinking, summer is a time for no schedule and no routine, but that is not the case. Although it is a time for more exceptions, keeping a schedule most of the time will keep everyone happy. Keep bed times, meal times, and nap times consistent. This will make everyday life much better as children will not be overtired or ornery and it will cut down on “melt-downs.” It will also make for children who are better mannered and more happy when you do head out for those fun summer activities. This doesn’t mean that kids can’t stay up a bit to enjoy the long summer nights, just don’t abandon your routine altogether. Plus, it will make the transition back to school life so much easier. Getting up won’t be such a shock to their little systems.
Third, RELAX, BE FLEXIBLE, DON’T OVER SCHEDULE.
Summer break goes by so fast! Before we know it the calendar is overflowing again and we are scrambling to keep up with the day-to-day. Be flexible and let your family feel you relax also. Allow for laughter, fun, spontaneity, and let your own guard down. Say “yes” more and worry less. Put less on the calendar and don’t over schedule. The worst is going back to school exhausted because the summer has not allowed for any down time. Use it as a time to bond and rejuvenate and relax. Everyday doesn’t have to have a major field trip or play date. It can if you want, of course, but consider a little more down time. More legos on the floor and less time racing around town from one museum to another. A good rule of thumb might be one “big” activity or adventure each week. Then let the other 6 days of the week “just be.” It will be amazing to see what your kids come up with.
Summer is a magical time of year and looks different for every family. By setting some goals, sticking to a routine, and not over scheduling our families, it can be even better.
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