Starting Summer Off Right (at home and work)!
Summer, as defined by the dictionary:
- The warmest season of the year, occurring between spring and autumn and consisting of June, July, and August in the Northern Hemisphere.
- A period of fruition, fulfillment, happiness, or beauty.
Summer, as defined by kids:
- Time of fun activities, staying up late, sleeping late, vacationing, camping and no school!
- Season of living at the pool and eating all the ice cream imaginable.
- Did we mention no school?!
Regardless of how you define summer, it’s here!
That wonderful mostly school-free time of the year brings its own joys and challenges. And even if your child is in a year-round school or is otherwise occupied all summer, it’s a distinct time of year.
Here are a few tips on getting the kids and summer started off right:
- Sit down and review the entire summer calendar at one time. Pull your work calendar, including shifts you are covering or trips you are taking over the summer season, your wife’s calendar and your children’s work or activity calendars. Line them all up next to each other and review it together. Are there any conflicts? Anything in which you need to say “no”? Any free evenings you could set aside for a dinner date as a family or a mini-outing? Work together to set the summer up for success.
- Set clear expectations and schedules based on your child’s age and responsibility level. Summer is a wonderful opportunity to give your children different experiences than during the school years. And that means more than experiencing "boredom." Have your kids work on routine chores around the house: feeding the pets, working on the lawn or garden, learning to make dinner, or tidying up things around the house. Or better yet – have some project you’ve been putting off? Can your children pitch-in? Is there any way for your older children to have a summer job, even if informally, to learn responsibility and managing money? Any skill-building over the summer is helpful for your kids.
- Don’t miss this! Make time for your children over the summer when they don’t have school responsibilities. It’s a wonderful time to reconnect and talk about what they learned from the past school year and what they’re looking forward to (or dreading) about the next school year. Taking time for one-on-one activities with each child is a great way to make the summer valuable. You only get one summer per year – don’t miss it!
photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren