We’re midway through the summer, and it’s possible that you’re already hearing, “I’m bored!” and “There’s nothing to do!” As a professional child therapist and mom, I’m acquainted with these phrases. Here are 5 ideas to help the rest of your summer along:
1). Keep your routine.
As much as kids would have you believe that they want school to end, it’s really only partly true. Kids crave routine. It provides two things that kids need most: reliability and predictability. It’s comforting to know when snack is happening or what happens after nap. If your child tends to be a little on the anxious side, routine becomes even more important. I know it’s a little late in the game, but you might consider having summer bedtime stay reasonably close to school bedtime, and weekend bedtime being similar to weekday bedtime. All that said…
2). Don’t be afraid to mix it up and be silly.
Unless your child is 12-14, he or she will love it when you take the risk to be silly. Decide that it’s “crazy shorts day,” or that you’re serving hot dogs for breakfast. Kids will laugh along with you and your cool factor goes WAY up! On another note, it lets kids know that even though routine is helpful, comforting and important, it’s just as important to be flexible.
3). Get outside as much as possible.
I recently wrote a post on our Snappy Kids website about the magic of playing outside. I believe this to be true. There are things that outdoors offer that cannot be repeated indoors. And expending energy is always a good thing! Water is your friend. Play, play, play!
4). Introduce a novel project.
In order to be successful with this tip, you have to know your audience. For example, of my two boys (both of whom are teens now), one would be happy learning to bake something new while the other would be far happier doing the science project where raisins bounce up and down. Try to balance projects that are tried and true with those that are new and different, even for you. Who knows, you might get a kick out of bouncing raisins!
5). Do things with friends, but not all the time.
Here we go with the B word: balance. It’s important and fun for kids to have friends over, or meet for playdates or other activities. Being social and playing with others is really necessary to kids’ development and well-being. However, it’s also important not to over-schedule (I know you’ve heard this before), and to build some quiet time into the schedule as well. Summer reading programs, such as those usually offered at bookstores or the public library, are great. You could also offer your own story time, alone or with other moms and kiddos.
My final, unofficial tip for you is this: one of the best ways to take good care of your kids is by taking good care of yourself. If you’re stressed about providing your kids with the “perfect” summer, they will be stressed as well. There really is no perfect summer, and good enough is just that–good enough.
To learn more from Vanessa and ways to help children learn about and manage their feelings, check out Snap’s Stories About Feelings!
Vanessa Whalen, LSCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice and the co-founder of Snappy Kids, LLC, along with her husband John Harrison. Snappy Kids makes therapeutic mobile apps for kids to help them learn about and manage their feelings. The company’s latest app, Snap’s Stories About Feelings, is available for $2.99 on the iTunes App Store and on Google Play. The app is intended for kids ages 4-10 and contains two stories (about anger and worry) with accompanying activities. No reading is required. More stories will be available for purchase in the fall. For more information about SnappyKids, or to sign up for our newsletter, visit http://snappykids.cc.
Disclosure: Wichita Moms Blog partnered with Snappy Kids, LLC for this sponsored post. That said, all products and services listed here are those that we have tested personally, stand behind and are excited to bring this wonderful community of moms.