Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash
Young me looked forward to summer because of the endless amount of free time and lack of responsibility I was sure to have. Ha. My parents saw to it that my summers were always full of things to do.
As a child, I just about revolted. It was so unfair in my mind! However, I grew to realize the benefit of making sure I had a summer routine. I’m not talking a strictly regimented procedural chart of responsibility, rather a flexible, but non-negotiable routine that entices good habits all summer long.
We all know, or have, kids that feel that summer is an excuse to not brush their teeth. Maybe it isn’t that extreme, but without school to remind them, they can forget or just ignore the need. Summer is a time where kids typically eat sugary snacks, which is part of the experience in moderation, but can also lead to issues if good oral hygiene is not maintained.
It is important to encourage your kids to brush, floss, and gargle with mouthwash daily. This will help them to avoid cavities, gum disease, or an unwanted trip to the dentist. This will set the pattern for their entire lives, so don’t slack on enforcing this one.
It is important that your kids maintain some form of responsibility over the summer. This could be as simple as a daily task to take out the trash, empty the dishwasher, or take care of the dog.
Kids that don’t have this responsibility may have a harder time adjusting when school comes back around. Simple responsibility will help them learn good work ethic, discipline, and prepare them for the real world where most of us don’t get summer breaks.
Many kids get plenty of exercise over the summer because they are outside literally all day. This is great for them; they get good exercise, have fun, and give you some quiet time.
Exercise is a crucial aspect of a healthy life and one that many people throw to the side while on vacation. Make sure your kids stay active and do something to get exercise. Swimming is a great way to keep cool and get exercise over the summer. Hiking and biking are also great summer activities to keep you in good shape.
This one sounds ironic. Working free time into a routine is critical. Your kids put a lot of effort into schooling during the year, so let them take a break. It is important to get all the other stuff in, but make sure they also have time to do what they want.
Younger kids can use that time as unstructured play, a necessary developmental method, and older kids may use the time to do nothing, and that is just fine. Let them relax, play video games, sleep, and do what they want. It is a break from school after all.
A daily routine will help your kids maintain good habits, build a foundation for life skills, and help you all to have a more enjoyable summer. Use your best judgment on the right routine for your kids, you know them best after all. Make this the best summer ever!