“We need to make things fun for our loved ones. We do not want them to be happy only with their friends or other people but not with your own household. Do not make them look for fun with others but instead, make them feel like they don’t want to leave the bond or the joy of being with the family.”
Summer lives in our imaginations throughout the year because it nourishes our souls. The warmth….the fun…the sheer deliciousness. But mostly, the luxury of time, unbounded by school. Time to explore, to make new friends, to lie on your back and watch the clouds billow. The vivid aliveness and freedom of a child’s summers can change her forever.
Does this sound like the summer your child is having? Or is he glued to an electronic screen, or having to get up early for camp so you can go to work? Or has he gotten so used to constant stimulation that he’s complaining he’s bored?
You CAN reclaim summer for your family. In fact, you can make this the best summer ever with your kids. It doesn’t take travel or a lot of money. All it takes is your time.
That’s right, your time. I know that sounds like the one thing you don’t have enough of. If you’re anything like most parents, you have a long list of things that need to get done and you feel a little (or a lot!) overwhelmed. But it’s summer. Your kids won’t be kids forever. This is the stuff their childhood memories are made of. These are the experiences that shape who they become. Why not decide now to make the most of this opportunity to connect with your kids?
Of course, your kids also need plenty of lazy summer afternoons with not much happening. So finding that sweet spot of “just enough” activity without over-scheduling is the goal.
Here are seven simple tips to make this summer your best summer ever with your kids:
1. Set aside some time every day to have fun with your child.
Whether it’s running through the sprinkler together on a hot afternoon or counting the stars on a blanket in the backyard before bedtime, do at least one thing a day to connect and have fun. Remember, what matters is always how it FEELS, not how it LOOKS. Your child doesn’t need a Martha Stewart activity; just a loving connection with you.
2. Find the “sweet spot” for structure.
Research shows that kids get stressed during the school year from academics, homework, the social scene, and all the activities. They really need time to chill and relax. But they also need structure, meaning they need their day and week to have a shape — so they know what to expect. For instance, every morning after we play, we do errands or pick up the house together for an hour, and after lunch we have reading time and then quiet time. Every afternoon we run through the sprinkler or go to the pool.
3. Commit to de-stressing and just enjoying your life this summer.
Kids pick up our attitudes. If you’re still stressed, they’ll still be stressed, and they’ll fight with each other and drive you crazy. Even if you have to go to work, can you find a way to dial down your stress for the summer? And if you’re lucky enough to be home with the kids, don’t you deserve a delicious …