It’s summertime and with it comes lots of down time. The best thing about the summer is that we loosen up our schedule. The worst thing about the summer is we loosen up our schedule. As you can see I have a love/hate relationship with routine.
One of the toughest things about being helter skelter about our days is kids love it, but hate it too. It is easier for kids to follow directions and cooperate when they know what to expect. In the summer when things are all over the place, and our schedules are not set, kids have a harder time complying. When shower time is at 7pm one day and 9pm the next day, it can get confusing for everyone.
So what can we do to help our kids behave this summer? Here are three things that might help:
1. Lower Your Expectations: We all know that it is harder for kids to comply and cooperate during the summer but it still makes us mad. If we are more realistic and change our expectations of our kids we will all be a lot happier. That might mean kids going to bed without showering (ugh!), having cereal for dinner and overlooking the fact that you have told your child to get into bed and he is still playing in the family room.
2. Have A Plan: It is helpful to sit down with your kids and say, “I know it is the summer and we all want to enjoy are vacation but there are still things that need to get done every day.” We can then make a very loose schedule of the jobs kids are required to do, discuss new bedtimes and set limits for electronic time. Will the rules get enforced? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but it is a good idea to outline them anyway.
3. Be Kind About The Crankiness: When kids have been going the whole day and they are tired and hot they get pretty cranky. I know I do! Whining, crying and squabbling sets in. We can say, “Summer days and fun in the sun can be tiring for everyone. Let’s get a drink, cool off and take a break, maybe that will help.”
Each year I can’t wait for summer to begin and I know that I hate for summer to end- but deep down, in September I am sort of relieved to get back on a regular schedule.