It’s (Almost) Summer!
As you and your family frolic amongst the fireflies and mosquitos, here are a few simple summer tips for busy parents to help make the most of your lazy, hazy summer days, no matter the age of your kids.
Simple summer tips for busy parents
1. Sunscreen. If you make sunscreen use part of the summer routine, your children are more likely to continue using this magical anti-aging, anti-cancer lotion as they become independent.
2. Downtime. Though some of your children’s report cards may not reflect it, your kids have had a long, exhausting school year. Their brains are on overdrive as they learn important academic skills. Kids are bombarded with so much required “stuff” that they need unstructured time to think and create on their own. Perhaps offer your child a journal or a drawing pad to express their innermost ideas. You can even journal together.
3. Friends. Remember middle school? It’s not enough that academics are becoming more difficult, but so is navigating the social world. EEK. And if you have a child who is shy or introverted, making friends and finding a social niche can be that much more difficult and exhausting. Help them develop blossoming friendships by making your home the place to hangout.
4. Playtime. Physically, their bodies are growing like crazy. If they are in grade school, their bodies are readying for puberty. In middle school, they are in it. In high school, they are finishing up the growth process and beginning to look so old! Allow them time to participate in their chosen physical activities (Red Rover, Red Rover!), not only organized sports. Even better, participate with them! 5K’s are everywhere in the summer – sign up and run (or walk) together.
5. Work/Fun Balance. Downtime is necessary, but being productive also has its benefits. For younger kids, chores are important to help them feel they are a productive member of society/family. Middle school kids should have chores but also outside responsibilities, like entertaining the neighborhood kids of busy parents. High school children benefit from summer jobs as they develop their work ethic. They also earn a little cash for their summer activities. Like dating.
6. Family time. This is it. You only have your kids for about 18 years. Yes, I know. It may seem like for-ev-er some days, but trust me. The years goes by so incredibly fast. Be sure to carve out some family bonding time each week. Ice cream, mini-golf, cookouts, pool time….it doesn’t matter what it is. Just make a memory. This time together also lays a foundation of trust and love – this matters when they need to talk to an adult about their latest summer crush.
8. Read. Pick up a fantastic book and escape in the words. Read with your kids — no matter how old they are. Form a summer book club with your family or with other parents and children. Join a summer reading program at the library. Need suggestions? Check out the list of books in my Bookstore.
9. Wine time. Yes, this is for you. Don’t forget to care for yourself. Many parents work while juggling crazy summer schedules. It is okay to take some time for yourself to hang with your friends and enjoy the summer nights.