Does summer vacation give you a smile or make you cringe? Depending on your life situation, summer may be a welcome break from the usual schedule or it may complicate things. No matter what you’re facing, summer is a different animal than the typical school year. Even when your child has regular activities planned, the adjustment can be tough for everyone.
Try some of the following methods to bring some focus and sanity to your summer break.
Maintain Regular Meals Together
Do you share regular family mealtime? It’s not new advice, but it’s still worth following. Mealtime is a chance to catch up on what your kids are doing, who they’re spending time with, and other things that matter to the entire family.
If your schedule is really different in the summer, you may find that supper doesn’t always work as shared family time. If it’s possible, share your lunch hour with your kids instead. Maybe snack time before bed can work for everyone. Even breakfast might be more relaxed in the summer. It doesn’t matter so much what or when you eat. Just make it a fun social time for sharing and connecting.
Train Everyone To Use A Common Calendar
You might laugh at the headline, but a short training session on the calendar can be time well spent. Don’t underestimate your young child’s ability to understand and use your calendar. Even little ones can learn to check it and add their activities.
Have smaller children draw a picture or write what their activity is on small sticky notes (use clear tape to help them stick if necessary). Be sure your calendar has large squares so everyone’s activities can fit. Stickers can be useful to show dates for repeated events.
Some high-tech families might find it helpful to use a shared online calendar accessible from their phones. Even if only the adults use a phone calendar, everything can be tracked on the go. A hybrid approach is to use both paper and phone calendars. Don’t forget about your phone’s alarms and reminder alerts.
No matter what method you’re comfortable with, it’s essential for everyone to be fully informed and conscious of the need to communicate about schedules.
Check in for the next article about adding focus to your kids’ summer without overloading their schedule.
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Last reviewed: 13 Jun 2012