How to have a great summer without wrecking your children’s schedules
One great thing about the school year is the routine. Everyone in the house knows what’s expected and when it happens. Then summer comes, and the schedule suddenly ends. Both kids and adults thrive on having a routine. Don’t give up having one when school ends. Adjusting your children’s schedule for summer downtime keeps things moving along smoothly while mixing in fun with lazy days. Consider the following tips on making the most of your summer while enjoying the benefits of keeping a calendar.
Shift sleep schedules
Transitioning kids from school to summer means a shift in bedtimes. It’s fine to give kids some wiggle room when it comes to going to sleep and waking up. Ease up by changing bedtime to an hour later and wake up time an hour later than usual. Keep naps in the schedule if your kids need them, or else they’ll become overtired. Because it’s lighter later outside in the summer, consider getting your kids blackout curtains or shades to keep out the sunshine.
Make weekly plans
Making a loose plan each week is better than making no plans in the summer. You’ll want to give your kids space between busy days. Too many exciting days in a row may cause kids to become tired or agitated. Let your kids know what the weekly plans are by keeping a calendar visible in your home. If you have a surprise for them, don’t give it away on the calendar.
Make unexpected activities part of your summer routine. Wow your kids every week with one place to visit they’d never expect to go. Brainstorm a list of places to go to when the time is right. Maybe it’s a day of horseback riding or a trip to a water park in another state. They’ll look forward to knowing there’s a surprise in the schedule every week.
Keep up chores
Practicing good behavior and helping around the house is important for kids year round. Don’t let them take too much of a break from chores during the summer. If a child changed the family fish’s tank water every week, keep that on the schedule. For young kids, keep a chore chart going through the summer months. Continue giving them stickers for accomplishing good behavior or finishing chores.
Build in alone time
Alone time is important for parents and kids. You need time to relax without kids. Kids need time where they don’t need to share their toys. Get your alone time by hiring a sitter or encouraging a playdate at someone else’s home where you don’t have to stay. Or, nap when your kids nap. Build in independent playtime for your children either on a daily or weekly basis. It all depends on how much alone time your children need or want.
Summer is the perfect downtime to get your family medical check-ups done for the upcoming school year. It’s also time for you to take care of your own medical needs. Plan physicals into your schedule by visiting mercy.com today to make an appointment with a primary care physician or specialist.