When I was a child, summer felt like it was filled with ways that my parents kept me occupied. The majority of my summer was filled with band camps and summer reading. We traveled as a family and loved seeing my closest cousins and spent time with them. Summer felt short as a child, I would blink, and it was over. Fast forward now that I’m the adult, summer at times feels like it’s never going to end. It’s probably because my kids are young, so the type of summer they have is 100% on the pre-planning I have done for it to be enjoyable. Last summer, we could not do anything or go anywhere. However, this year, I was more than ready to do more, but what does more look like anyway? What does summertime parenting mean?
Maintain Routine & Give Children Time
It’s nice to give kids a break; it’s nice as a parent to relax, but maintaining a routine is far more beneficial long term than taking a break from all of it. Adapting a summer routine can help you maintain your sanity and keep your family on a schedule. The point of contention between parent and child during the summer is electronic. If the child doesn’t have school, they naturally assumed being on some device or screen all day is normal, but most parents do not want an entire day spent on a screen. Well, what’s the compromise? It is best the household has a designated electronic start and end time. This would mean that no matter what time your child wakes up, electronics don’t start until the appointed time. This will eliminate a child waking up at 7:00 am to start screen or staying up all night being on screens. Having a start and end time helps children create boundaries and help them managed screen times without you as the parent having to micromanage. Your job as the parent is to provide the tools and show your child how to use them. Creating an electronic start and end time will help your child navigate screens and can even be a game-changer for your family. Electronic can be hard to balance around even most adults have a hard time doing managing them.
Set Up Summer Rules
If you have older children, let them know about rules you have or any reservation you may feel regarding the lifted covid restriction. If you are still feeling some reservations or would prefer a slow entry back into pre-covid life, communicate that with your children to set realistic expectations—communicate with kids to ensure proper guidelines for the summer to ensure a smooth transition. If you have pre-arranged activities, get-together, or trips, inform your kids about these plans so you can avoid conflicts in scheduling and expectations.
Avoid Over Scheduling, take your Time & Enjoy
Try to remember that summer is supposed to be a time to sit back and relax to break away from the school’s hectic and busy schedule. Instead, schedule intentional time with your family to create positive memories. If possible, schedule a morning time while on vacation with a child that you typically would not have the ability to do. Children benefit significantly from quality time with a parent or both parents.
Beatrice (Bea) Moise, M.S., BCCS., is a Board-Certified Cognitive Specialist, Parenting Coach, Writer, and National Speaker. She is the creator of A Child Like Mine, LLC, a company created for educating parents of children with unique behavioral and learning needs while giving them the tools they need to be successful at home. She is a respected and trusted parenting coach and consultant in Charlotte, NC, and surrounding areas. Helping parents of children with Autism, ADHD and other behavioral challenges. Bea is frequently featured on WCNC Charlotte Parenting Today, and has been featured on People of Charlotte, Peace & Parenting, Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting & Ballantyne Magazine providing tips for parents. Bea has written for PBS-Kids, AAPC-Publishing, PsychCentral, Charlotte Parent Magazine, Autism Parenting Magazine, Carolina Parent, and Scoop Charlotte. Bea has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology; also, she also holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling with a specialty of Applied Behavior Analysis. Bea and her husband have two children, Jacob, who is awesomely autistic, and Abby, who is simply marvelous!