Summer vacation from school is here along with the a fun, relaxation, and nonstop entertainment is in the hearts and minds of many children, ‘tweens and teens. Prudent moms and dads know better. What often starts off as long awaited fun in the sun crashes quicker than your 8-year-old can lose his new beach towel at the neighborhood pool.
Don’t let these next couple of months get away from you before it ever really gets started. Summer break from school can go rather smoothly but may very well crash and burn without some planning and scheduling. Take a little time to sit down with calendar in hand and map out some basics for summer.
Lots of parents truly desire that their children read some good books, work on writing skills, brush up their math facts and generally not lose all they have gained the past school year. These hopes quickly fade when the kids sleep in until noon, watch endless hours of TV, play video games 24/7, text friends and update Facebook pages until they can’t hold their eyes open any longer. Kids will quickly get into their comfort zones and next thing you know? They haven’t bathed in three days!
So, with calendar in hand, set some reasonable expectations of reading, journal writing, reviewing math if needed. Next on the list is for you as mom or dad to get some free help for you around the house and out in the yard this summer. Some folks still think this is old-fashioned but children wasting away in the summer isn’t good for them and will more than likely get on your last nerve by the 4th of July. Whether you stay at home with your children or they go to a sitter, you can outline some quality time for little Bradley and Susie.
Be proactive and block out some times for your kids to do some things they need to do this summer. Make it a weekly routine but don’t be fanatical about it. As friends invite your children over and fun opportunities arise, of course you can be flexible. The key is not to let flexible become nonexistent. It’s amazing how kids can work the system, isn’t it? Think about your priorities. Maybe your kids can sleep in the first few days of summer, on Mondays or whatever you think. You just don’t want your kids wasting the summer weeks away.
Once you pencil down some routines don’t get all dogmatic or dramatic about it. Just tell them that along with all the fun activities there will be some things you need for them to do — and that doesn’t have to be all bad.
Today’s children need to learn good work habits and the place to start is helping around the home. Give your kids some weekly chores, little projects and whatever else you may need to help you with your workload this summer. Don’t fall for the “If I do a lousy job mom and dad will give up routine.” Insist on quality help around the house. That is not being unreasonable by any stretch of the imagination. That way, you’ll have a little extra time to pick up some good books yourself.
Bryan Greeson is a nationally certified school psychologist residing in Gastonia.
Let’s block ads! (Why?)