Summertime can be difficult for parents when their children are not in school. Summertime AFTER a PANDEMIC can be even more difficult because children were just getting used to the structure of a school day and now they are home again without even online learning to possibly focus on. SO… What can a parent do?
First, I must acknowledge that I am a very lucky parent who has the ability to be home with her children during the summer and can focus on keeping them occupied and engaged in some sort of Physical or Academic activity. But for those of you who do not have that luxury (AND Yes… I am AWARE that this is a luxury)– here are some ideas for you to keep your children Academically, Socially, and Physically Active and engaged for the summer:
- Keep a scheduled Bedtime and Wake-up time for kids – Most people think that if a kiddo goes to bed late and then wake up later the next day that they are getting a good night’s sleep. It’s not true- Kids need consistency in sleep. Lack of sleep only exacerbates kids and is especially counterproductive to kids with ADHD or other Behavioral Disorders.
- Write out a schedule for your kiddos to follow each day- It will keep them structured but also allow for them to have some independence during their day. Write it out on a whiteboard for them to see and check off each item.
- Build in Chores, Academics, Social Activities and Physical Exercise during that time.
- Reinforce your kiddo for following the schedule- Allow them to earn a special treat or activity (at your discretion) at the end of the week if they follow through.
- Be MINDFUL of your sneaky Kiddo- Make sure that you have some permanent product to PROVE that your kiddo followed through on what it is that you put on their schedule.
Most of all- Try to enjoy this summer with your children in between working, activities, and any other obligations. Enjoy this summer especially- Life is somewhat beginning to normalize and we still want our kids to have a fun summer even after all that they have experienced this past year and a half.
The days may be long but the years are so very short. I am reminded of this each year as I watch my boys grow and move on to the next grade.