Every school year when the weather starts warming up, I find my self saying, "Oh I can't wait for Summer and no more school!"
And then every Summer, I quickly realize, "What was I thinking??? I had it easy!" Lol
Let's face it... You love your kids and you love spending time with them, but when kids have free time it can quickly turn into a nightmare!
Summer can be a great time to connect and have fun with your children! It can be tempting when Summer hits to want to through any kind of structure out the window! But kids that spend too much time together and without routines... This can cause you to lose your mind! Now that I've had a few summers with kids under my belt (7 to be exact) I've found a few things that are necessary to keep some order and consistency.
So here are a few things that I do to survive:
- Keep a bedtime - Whether it's 8pm or 12pm have a time that they have to get into bed. Not only do kids need boundaries, but most kids will stay up all night if you let them. And they will not normally make up for any sleep lost by sleeping late. Which means everyone will pay for it the next day. Your job as a parent is to set your kids up for success! Structure and lots of sleep are a good start for that.
- Have a bedtime routine - Again, another way to bring structure to the summer. This helps to prepare my kids for sleep. We're calming down and they know what to expect. Also, when children are acting up in the evening I can punish them by sending them "straight" to bed, which works well. Of course there are some nights that we are getting home late and everyone just gets right into bed, but this is what we strive to make happen.
- Limit T.V. time - Television is definitely an easy thing to fall back on when your kids are bored, fighting, making messes, etc. It's a great distraction. But it can also have many negative effects. One thing that I always notice is it seems to make the kids irritable & lazy after awhile.
- Do something active every day - Whether it is inside or outside, I make sure that they do something active. Kids can be creative, let them use their imaginations. If they need some help give them some ideas. Here are a few ideas I use.
- Have a chore routine - Every day my children do chores. They vary every day, between how many and how time consuming. I do have a schedule of what I try to get done each day and we try to stick to that. This ensures that my house doesn't get too out of control. During the summer we often find ourselves making last minute plans and leaving in a hurry. By staying on top of chores we can avoid having to spend a whole day of summer inside!
- Have lots of healthy snack options - My kids always eat way more in the summer. They're more active and using a lot more energy, especially when we're at the beach or pool or out at a ballgame all day. Not only do they need to eat a lot more, they need to eat healthy. Of course, we still eat cookies and things like that, but I always make sure we have other options, too. Hungry kids quickly lead to grumpy kids and meltdowns!
- Have a daily schedule - I use the word schedule for lack of anything better. The schedule more just outlines inside time, outside time, time with neighborhood friends, t.v. time... Things like that.
Those are my Summer Survival Tips! What are yours???