RECLAIMING SUMMER WITH YOUR CHILDREN
Summer time is often a privileged time that children wait all year long. Since children are unbounded by school, they have time to explore, make new friends, lie on their back and watch the clouds. Summer is indeed a great opportunity to connect with your kids and to build unforgettable memories.
Here are a few ideas to make this summer memorable:
1. Spend quality time with your child every day. Whether it is running through the sprinklers on a hot afternoon or observing the stars on a blanket in the backyard, do at least one thing each day to connect and have fun with your child. Remember that what matters is the caring and loving connection between your child and you, not the most original or brilliant activity they could have.
2. Maintain some minimal structure. Most children who have a very busy schedule during the school year develop a high level of stress. So, when summer kicks off, they do need time to relax and chill. However, they still need a minimum of structure throughout their day, so they know what to expect. Depending on your child’s age, you may discuss how she wants her days to look like.
3. Remember transitions take time. If your child starts a summer camp program or some new activities, she may experience some anxiety. So, a few grumpy days and a few meltdowns are not unusual. Taking the time to discuss ahead the new activities and how she feels about them will help her reduce anxiety and her nervousness the first days.
4. Limit technology time. The use of technology is very tempting during summer as children have more time. When children are bored and it is hot outside, screen time may soon be their favorite pastime. However, the more screen time is limited, the more children can be creative, enjoy themselves differently, and make new friends.
5. Encourage your child to try something new. Summer is the ideal time to experiment something new. Whether she wants to try painting, self-defense classes, or horseback riding, new activities encourage brain development and build your child’s focus. It also contributes to deal more effectively with frustration and impulse control.
Summer is the perfect time to get (re)connected to your children. Devoting time and brainstorming ideas are all you need to reclaim summer for your family.
As George R.R. Martin says, “Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”
As a parent and a therapist, I want to offer some tips on how to raise happy and healthy kids. Please feel free to comment on my posts.