Summertime Fun…or Not?!
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ― Henry James
The summer is upon us, and we have so much time on our hands… oh, what to do?! Adults/parents may still have to work, but what about the children? Being out of their routine, children tend to get bored or “lazy,” as some parents may say. Even though summer is considered a time to relax, it can also be a good time to catch up on family.
Some things to work on during the summer with your children and family:
- Creating a routine– encouraging a good time to wake up, keeping busy, and having a plan for the day.
- Joining activities-enrolling your child or children in a summer camp, youth group, dance classes, sports , etc. within the community.
- Spending time outdoors-planing family day trips, picnics, outdoor play time.
- Teaching responsibilities-such as having daily chores, and possibly learning new ones, like how to cook.
- Engaging in arts and leisure-reading, or starting arts and crafts projects.
- Developing family projects-engaging in a family activity together to enhance communication skills and togetherness, like building a tree house, planting a raised vegetable garden or turning the family room into a game room.
During the school year we become busy with making sure schoolwork is completed or accomplishing day to day responsibilities, and often lose sight of family time. Time becomes limited when divided between the working adult/parent and your child’s educational or other needs. The summer allows opportunities for family togetherness…working on re-building a family connection, being able to sit down and eat meals together, and truly spending one on one time with each other. The summer allows us to slow down and enjoy each other’s company.
Some things to avoid over the summer would be:
- Spending all day sleeping– truly “lazing” around not having a plan to follow.
- Spending all day on electronics– not enjoying the outdoors by spending too much time playing video games.
- Being secluded– your child might be spending too much time in their room alone (not spending any time with the family, not eating with the family, or even engaging with anyone), or being left home alone unattended and “bored.”
- Doing nothing all day– not having any daily activities or anything to do.
Sometimes the summer can be extremely stressful for parents if they still have to continue to work, and their children are continuously calling them to complain of having nothing to do. When you first think of “summer vacation” what comes to mind? Do you think of being stressed out about what the children will do? Or, do you imagine warm summer breezes, fun in the sun, and picnics with the family? Summer is not just for children to get a break from school, it is also for parents to be able to spend time with their families.
Structure over the summer is extremely important for everyone’s peace of mind. If you feel the summer is the right time to start creating structure for your family, enhance family togetherness, and work on communication skills, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.