With warmer weather and no school, summertime is a kid’s paradise! (I’ll admit, I was definitely one of those kids who counted down the days to summer vacation.) While summer can be nice for parents too, it sometimes doesn’t seem like such a break. Between having kids home all day, juggling summer camps, and trying to keep bored children from spending too much time on the Wii, the summer definitely has its challenges.
This summer, here are a few tips that may help you find balance and keep your sanity. 🙂
1. Work together
In the summer, kids may feel like all day long is play time. While it’s good for children to have a break from school and cultivate friendships or hobbies, work is still an important component of family life. Elder L. Tom Perry said, “Teaching children the joy of honest labor is one of the greatest of all gifts you can bestow upon them.” Even during the summer, we can take advantage of this time to teach our children to work hard.
It can be tricky to motivate kids to work when the sun is shining and school is out. But finding ways to work together as a family can help your kids learn to work and allow you to spend quality time together. Whether it’s working in the garden, finding a fun renovation project, or just doing household chores, figure out how to incorporate regular family work as a part of your summer schedule. Research shows that the benefits of work will stretch far into the future.
2. Take time to learn
Going back to school after a summer full of fun can be a tough transition for kids. In order to keep your kids active and learning, find simple ways every day to make sure their brains are engaged. The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet teaches, “Education is an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan to help you become more like Him.” We can help our children in their eternal progression by encouraging continual learning, even during the summer.
Coming up with educational activities that our kids still enjoy may be a challenge. Thankfully, most local libraries have summer reading programs, combining both learning and summer fun! When possible, sign your kids up and help them find books they’re interested in. You can also make learning fun with cooking projects, simple science projects, or trips to local museums.
Taking the time to come up with educational activities in the summer can take some extra work, but it’s worth it! Research shows that getting involved in your children’s education when they’re young will make a huge difference for their education in the future.
3. Play together
While work and learning are important to include this summer, your kids do still need some good play time! (I’m sure they’ve already reminded you of that plenty, especially when it’s their turn for the dishes. 😉 ) Enjoying time with friends can be a really healthy part of social development. However, it’s important to carve out time to play as a family, too. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” even includes “wholesome recreational activity” as a key to successful marriages and families.
Family vacations can be a little stressful, but making memories and having fun shouldn’t require an elaborate trip. Whether you get away for a weekend campout, find fun car activities for your long drive to the family reunion, or just take time to play in the sprinkler together, take some time to have fun with your kids. Research shows that having play time together can do worlds of good for your child’s development and for your relationship with them.
Summer doesn’t have to be a time of stress and chaos. It can be a time to help your kids learn to work, continue their education, and enjoy some good family fun. As you figure out what works best for you and your family, feel free to share your ideas below! We’d love to hear from you.