While your kids may be excited about the lazy days of summer, the idea of summer break can be daunting for working (and non-working) parents. Here are some quick tips to keep your kids on track so you can have a rewarding, fun summer.
Maintain your schedule
While you may not be able to maintain the structure school provides, it helps to stick to the daily schedule your kids are accustomed to. Try to keep the same meal times and bed times. While staying up late and sleeping in can be tempting, in the long run, you will have more cooperative kiddos if you maintain their typical routine.
Keep them in the loop
Working parents, we know it can take a village to find summer care. Be sure to let your kids know where they will be going and what they will be doing each day in advance. This can help with meltdowns and tantrums.
Plan activities in advance
We all know summer goes by quickly and balancing work with kids being out of school can be difficult. Before life gets crazy, plan out some activities for specific dates that your family is available. This not only give you some concrete plans, but also gives your kids something to look forward to and earn with good behavior.
Create a behavioral system
Kids feel safer knowing exactly what you expect of them and the rewards that result from good behavior. Choose the two or three most desired positive behaviors to nurture with consistent and positive reinforcement, and try to ignore as many of the negative ones as possible. This teaches kids the definite rewards of desired behavior, and that acting out gets them nothing—not even negative attention. A chart with stickers for tasks accomplished can work wonders as positive reinforcement for younger children.