Monday, April 26, 2010
Creating a Summer that Rocks!
In less than six weeks, school will be out for the summer here in south Florida. As we begin the countdown to summer vacation, it is a great time to explore what you would like your family to experience this summer. Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing how to have a summer that rocks!
Shifting from school into summer is a transition for both children and parents. With any transition, there will be stress, and you may notice some increased misbehavior. You can reduce the stress by being aware of how you and your children’s routines, activities and focus will be different over the summer.
The times to wake up and go to bed may be different. Eating meals will be different. What your child wears each day will be different. Because routines create comfort, predictability and safety, a change in routines can be very stressful. Let your child know ahead of time how his routines will be different, and explore everyone’s ideas for a new “summer routine.”
Instead of the school activities that your child has come to anticipate, what will he be doing? During family meetings, brainstorm about things that everyone wants to learn and do over the summer. If there is something your child wanted to do but did not have time during the school year, here is his opportunity. Are there any programs going on in your community that are a good fit for your child’s interests? Do you want to have a “beach day” each week? Do you want to teach your child to cook, sew, knit or play a sport? Will he be in a camp and if so, what can he expect? This is the time to check in and see what your family is inspired to do.
Your child will not be focusing on tests, projects, homework and his school job. What will he be focusing on? What will be your focus for the summer? The more specific you are, the more helpful this will be. Explore what you would like to focus on over the summer.
Summer Suggestion #1: Plan a “See Ya Next Year” event. It could be a pool party, year book signing, visit to the ice cream parlor or a trip to the movies. It is a setting for saying goodbye for a few months. If you make an annual event out of it – a ritual – it can be something that everyone anticipates. You can keep a scrap book of each year’s event.
For more ideas for creating a cooperative and connected summer, please read Whole Hearted Parenting’s book, 20 Steps to a Summer that Rocks!