7 Parenting Tips for the Dog Days of Summer
Summer with our children can be and feel LONG. We get many parents who are looking for something for their children to do when they aren’t at camps or on a summer family vacation.
Following these tips will make parenting in the dog days of summer a bit easier. It will also provide your child with meaningful experiences. Our tips will also prepare them for the coming school year, help them to build life skills and even fill resumes and college applications with noteworthy learning’s and doings!
There is a reason schools and library’s send out a reading list every summer. It is estimated, based on grade level, that some students can lose up to 2 month of reading progress over the summer. On the other hand, this is an opportunity for average to strong reader to get ahead. Even reading just one book over the summer (in anticipation of the next grade level) can alleviate stress in the next school year. Imagine showing up to class on the first day of school and you already completed the book. Your child will be the envy of the entire class.
Create New Opportunities:
GPA’s and SAT scores are the best determining factors for college admission boards. Secondary to these indicators is the question of “what else has this student accomplished?” One way for universities to distinguish between good students and great students is to answer this question. Here is your chance! One thing I like to do with parents of middle school and high school students, is to first urge them to find their child’s passion, and then I ask them to think like an entrepreneur. For example, if your child likes to watch movies, set up a DIY WordPress site and YouTube page in which they can review the movies they have seen via a blog or video. Here is one of the most successful child YouTube Channels here: www.youtube.com/user/EvanTubeHD
The current generation of middle and high school students utilize social media and cell phones to communicate. And once summer rolls around, these students lose most of the face-to-face contact, which occurs in a classroom during the school year. Encourage your children to get out and get together with friends (in a face to face setting).
- Learn a New Skill: Your children have the time, now use it. Chose a skill that might help them with Tip #2 above like photography, sewing, car repair, gardening, etc.
- Volunteer: I truly believe that doing something that benefits someone other than yourself will help you be a better person, a better friend, and eventually a better employee, spouse and parent. At the same time, the act of volunteering will address Tips #2-6 in this blog.
- Health (physical & mental): We already know that summer means sleeping in and eating anything we can find around the house. DON’T LET THIS BECOME A HABIT. Allowing our children, especially the teenagers who worked very hard during finals, to get extra sleep is important. (But not at the expense of skipping breakfast, and ignoring the other tips in this blog.) Set some limits on sleeping and junk foods, and teach the your children the importance of 3 meals and proper nutrition. Summer is a great time to discuss the importance of good sleeping habits. Use this extra down time with your children to talk about their feelings. Sometimes the slower pace and relaxation might bring out some insights you have never heard before. TAKE ADVANTAGE!!!
- Relax: Let’s not ruin summer. Let’s face it, many of us working adults miss summer breaks and sometimes are envious of our children as the sit around in their pajamas until late afternoon. We need to set aside time for lazy days for sleeping in, watching movies, and playing video games. After all, they worked hard during the school year, now they should be rewarded.
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