Make Your Summer Transition A Success

Pack the lunches, get breakfast ready, watch the kids get on the bus, and then begin your personal daily itinerary.

Getting into a groove while the kids are in school is a fairly easy task, they have homework in the evening, and sports on the weekends.

Then summer hits, school lets out and your days can quickly feel like pure chaos if you are not prepared.

The longer days where your kids are home for more hours requires you to fill idle time, so it is not filled with sibling rivalry and indoor water balloon fights.

Before the school year ends, figure out what they have been into at school, what interests them.

Try to utilize these interests in some of your summer planning. If your child has been into reading, have them join a summer reading club, or if they have enjoyed science, make a weekly outdoor science experiment.

You don’t need to push lessons that you think kids will be doing in the coming school year. Dr. Diane Levin, professor of early-childhood education at Wheelock College says, “Engage your child in what he’s interested in and involve him in active play and learning. That’s the best preparation you can give him.”

Get involved in fun summer activities, but spread them out throughout to not overwhelm you or your kids.

It’s easy to want to sign up for all the interesting camps, pool parties, and nature excursions, but doing so can overstimulate the whole family, causing more trouble than fun.

Try having a couple days a week that are designated pool days, and a day a week that is designated for play dates.

Put summer camp, the pool, play date schedules, and the family vacation on a calendar that the whole family can refer to, and show the little ones often so they can feel in the loop as well.

This puts the family on the same page, while keeping the kids from asking over and over what is going on that day, or from asking to do things outside of the schedule.

Sarah Bean, M. Ed. writing for Empowering Parents reported:

Letting your children know what is expected of them and holding them accountable actually puts them at ease (even though they will probably never admit it!) because they’ll know what to expect from you.”

Sticking to a summer routine is crucial in maintaining expectations for your children, by giving them a stable environment.

Part of these expectations should be doing daily chores. With the kids home all day there is going to be more crackers in the carpet, toys on the stairs, and laundry thrown around.

The increase in play creates an increase in responsibility, which the family can alleviate together.

You can do a chore chart, or have a jar full of popsicle sticks that have all the daily chore needs written on them and each child grabs a few a day.

However, during family vacation, routine usually goes out the window and that is fine. This is a time where everyone gets a break from the mundane, and gets to do things only experienced once a year.

It could be argued that moms never truly get a vacation, with all the sunscreen application, diaper changes, and chasing excited children.

Enforcing bedtime all summer, including family vacation, is necessary in having smooth days, or at least as smooth as one can expect.

The biggest thing to remember is that transitioning to those busy and long summer days isn’t only tough for you, but often more so for your child.

The comfort of school day schedules, the familiar faces of friends, and predictable evening bedtime stories is abruptly taken away with the start of summer.

Parents reported:

Change—even good change—is hard on children. It’s disorienting for them not to know what to expect,” says Parents advisor Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., author of What About Me?: 12 Ways to Get Your Parents’ Attention Without Hitting Your Sister. “

Be mindful of your child’s behavior when school ends. Is she acting out more? Does he seem disinterested in things you once enjoyed doing together?

If the kids have a change in behavior, ask them if they are upset about leaving school and their friends, or if they want to go over the schedule for summer.

Don’t discount their emotions during this time, but validate their feelings by sharing how you feel, or telling them that it is normal to have reservations about beginning a new routine.

Summer is a time to make memories, have a growth spurt, and make some lasting introspective revelations.

Keep simple, and scheduled to reduce any unnecessary stress when making that exhausting and exciting transition from school days to summer adventures.

Please let us know in the comments section if you have a summer routine that you refer to every year.

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