With school officially out for the summer, some parents are feeling a little unsure about how they will keep their children entertained and engaged in learning over the next few months.
Here are 5 great parenting tips that will keep you proactively prepared and help your kids to have a fun-filled summer:
1. Ask for their input when making plans.
If you want your kids to cooperate, it can help to ask for their input when planning out their day. For example, if you need to make a trip to the grocery store and bring the kids along, ask if they would prefer to go to the pool before or after the trip to the grocery store. Also, consider giving them some of the responsibility of locating some of the items on your shopping list. Allowing your children to make contributions and decisions can help to empower them and minimize their urge to misbehave. Always reward good behavior with positive praise, and if possible, an occasional little treat like their favorite snack, ice cream or their choice of a movie.
2. Have a routine in place.
One of the biggest challenges that parents face when school is out for the summer is not having a routine. Since kids thrive when they know what to expect, having a consistent schedule in place even during the summer months will make for a happier household.
As an added tip, ask for your kids' input when creating your summer routine. Write it down as a family and place it where everyone in your house can see. Therefore, it's not you telling them it's not TV time--it's the schedule reminding them.
3. Make them useful around the house.
Find ways to engage your kids in household tasks that need to be carried out. Tell them that you need their help in making dinner, folding laundry, or cleaning up. Encouraging your kids to help with chores around the house can be rewarding in many ways as it will decrease your workload, keep the kids occupied, and teach them important life skills.
4. Minimize screen time.
Yes, with more hours in the day to fill, it can be tempting to have your kids sit in front of the TV, cell phone, computer, or their iPads. However, by minimizing screen time, you'll encourage your kids to find other outlets that they are passionate about or need to develop, such as reading.
You can be especially effective with minimizing screen time in your household if you involve your kids in this decision. Talk with them about establishing a mutually agreed upon amount of screen time each day. This will help to minimize any arguments that could occur if you tell your kids that screen time is up.
5. Have fun together as a family.
At the start of the summer, sit down with your family and create a bucket list of all of the fun things that you all would like to do together. Display this bucket list where it can be easily seen in your home. That way anytime you're in need of a fun family activity to do, you have an entire list of ideas at your disposal.
If you take the time to follow these 5 summer parenting tips, everyone in your household is sure to have great summer ahead.
If you're interested in hearing more parenting tips, please follow our St. Barnabas Episcopal School blog. Being a private school that caters to children in grades pre-K through 8, we often share valuable parenting tips addressing issues and challenges parents of children in this age group face.
Our mission is to challenge each student in a supportive environment that promotes academic excellence, sound moral values, and high self-esteem within a framework of God’s love.