Saturday, June 22, 2013

3 Tips for Summer Parenting ~ The Summer Balancing Act

Summer is officially here. Kids are excited to play outdoors, swim, and stay up a little later. But how do you manage them for two to three months without hearing the dreaded “I’m bored” or “I don’t have anything to do”.  I hope you find these three tip very helpful this summer.

Tip #1: Create a Daily Fun Chart: Kids are on a school schedule for 9 months out of the year. Then summer comes and they have no schedule. They don’t have any structure or expectations from their parents. Children don’t realize it but they crave structure and schedules. It helps them to feel safe in their little world.  The solution: Create a Daily Fun Chart and post it on the wall in their room, kitchen, or bathroom. Break it down by 2 hour segments. In each segment of time write several suggestions of things to do and allow for some flexibility.  If your children are a little older they can help you make it and will feel empowered. You will thank yourself for this wonderful parenting tool. 

Tip #2: Reward:  Children love being rewarded for their good deeds and behavior.  At school their teachers are very good about rewarding with stickers, smiley faces, candy or other great treats.  During the summer children still crave positive attention for their good behavior. Think of fun ways to reward your children for helping around the house, doing something without being asked, for saying please and thank you, for picking up after themselves or being proactive. One fun thing to do is a very back to the basics but very effective tool; the good-old sticker chart.  Create and hang up a sticker chart. Tell your children the rules and rewards including how many stickers they need to get a reward and how to get a sticker. You will be amazed at the results – guaranteed!

Tip #3: BOND:  Use this fabulous summer time to really bond and connect with your children. Don’t let the 3 summer months go to waste. Find one on one activities to do with your children. Try cooking or baking together, read each other books, go swimming and make up fun games together instead of laying by the poolside.  Summer may seem long but it’s really rather a short time that you get to be with your child 24/7. Take advantage of it and you will be so happy.

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