The summer vacation is an exciting time for children but a challenging time for parents. Even those families who do not face issues with their children’s behavior during the year might suddenly encounter problems that need to be solved. Kids are together all day and often start arguing and fighting. Although children count the days until the summer break when it finally starts they often find themselves bored and restless. In the beginning they enjoy the freedom but sooner than they expect they start craving boundaries even if they are not willing to admit it.
The following tips will help you not only survive the summer break but enjoy it too!
Establish house rules to prevent conflict and ensure that all family members understand your expectations from them. Our guidelines and suggestions for house rules will work during the summer break too but might need to be adapted. The chore list will probably need to be changed since kids have more free time and there are a lot more chores to be done when they are home all day – more dishes to be washed and more mess to be tidied.
House rules might include certain time limits for TV or computer games. Make sure that the limits are clearly defined.
If your children are constantly fighting and bickering then discuss in detail how you expect them to behave and what the consequences will be if they break the rules. Some parents decide that if they are going to argue they should do it outside or in the basement whereas others prefer to separate the children when they start bickering and fighting. See sibling rivalry and how to prevent sibling rivalry.
Together with your kids make a list of activities that they can do when they are bored. The list should be as long as possible. Try to include educational activities (such as reading) and sport (explain to them that by sport you mean that they go outdoors and play tennis and not play tennis on a computer or TV game). Try to get them to be as active as possible.
Set some goals for the summer together with each child. At the beginning of the vacation, think of some projects that your kids can do during the summer. The list might include some projects that they need to do and might not necessarily want to do such as tidying their room and going through all of their belongings to decide what can be given away or thrown out. You can also set a goal to read a certain number of books or acquire a new skill. You can think of ongoing projects that can take weeks to complete such as building a robot, doll house, tree house etc. Some projects might need adult supervision or assistance.
Stock up on craft supplies to enable children to create crafts that they will enjoy. You can find thousands of creative ideas on the internet.
Use this time to learn a new skill or sport. This is a perfect opportunity for your children to acquire or improve a skill or hobby. You can sign your children up for art, dance, swimming classes or any other class that interests them. There are many options out there and since it is vacation time it should be something that your children enjoy and want to learn. This will ensure that your children don’t waste their time and spend their entire holiday in front of the TV or computer. If your kids love the computer and spend hours playing games you could offer them a computer programming course which they will both enjoy and find beneficial in the long term.
Hope that you find these tips helpful and that you enjoy your summer break!
Do you have some tips to share? Please feel free to write comments and share your tips and experiences!