Summer vacation has arrived! Now what? While the kids are looking forward to
staying up late and having longer days to play or hang out with friends, parents
might find themselves wondering how the changes in their children’s routine would
affect them now that they’re free of any academic responsibilities or pressures. On
On the one hand, it would be nice for the kids to do the usual things they love to do in
the summer, but on the other, kids need consistency and structure to flourish too—
just like adults.
For one thing, change can be stressful for children. And summer break, no matter
how welcome it may be can be an event that disrupts a sense of normalcy after
nine months of a regular school year. Some kids do well with change and are able
to use the newfound freedom to engage their time in acceptable ways, but there
Others do not, finding ways to act out and get into trouble.
Generally, children also tend to thrive from the support and reassurance of having
a structure in their lives, and the good news is, that although summer is now upon us,
there are still plenty of ways to establish some routines. This doesn’t necessarily
mean having to fill your child’s day with an endless schedule of expensive activities. It can simply involve making small or minor adjustments to a regular day. After all,
the point isn’t to be too strict or rigid; it’s to remind kids that it’s possible to manage
their time effectively but still enjoy the summer and have fun! Achieving that
balance is possible and will make the transition back to school that much easier
once fall arrives. Here are some ideas to help:
Keep Up Morning and Night Routines. Being able to sleep in and stay up late is
one of the best things about summer, but it’s still a good idea to maintain
consistent bedtimes and wake-up times, even if they aren’t as early as during the
Create an Activity List. If your child participates in regular activity or hobby
throughout the school year, they should continue to do so during the summer, but
the extra free time is also an excellent opportunity to broaden horizons and
perhaps experience new things they might be interested in.
Don’t Forget Your Chores. Just because it’s summer break doesn’t mean there are
no rules or responsibilities. And if your children are expected to do chores around
the house, make sure they know they’re not off the hook for those.
Stay Active and Social. Cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices make
it easy for today’s youth to turn into recluses and couch potatoes over the summer.
Help your kids maintain a healthy and social lifestyle with camp, sports, and time
outdoors with friends.
Keep Things Positive. Keeping up a routine also means keeping up positive
reinforcement. During summer break, good behavior can be rewarded with a trip to
get ice cream or a night around the campfire making s’mores. The hot days are
filled with endless potential for fun and relaxation, so don’t forget to treat yourself
and the kids!