September 29, 2023

Summertime Survival/Flourishing Plan

IMG_0082Is it time to develop your “Summertime Survival/Flourishing Plan,” moms and dads? Let me make a suggestion or two and let’s keep it simple and on point. Your job is to set up and manage the environment effectively so your children can make good choices. This will take a plan with a reasonable structure that is grounded in your purpose for your children’s time. During the school year, teachers and school personnel create the structure for our kid’s daily activities. Summertime requires us to set and manage the daily schedule.

First, “What is your intended purpose for your family this summer?” Think about four basic areas when you define your purpose: recreation, intellectual/academic, social and free time. Each of these areas has an interactive family component and an independent piece.

Recreation – Independent play, social interactive play (siblings, neighborhood peers, etc.), some, but limited screen time (T.V. or video games), organized sports, swimming, scouting, youth group, music or other hobbies, camps (day and overnight) and family vacations are some examples.
Intellectual/academic – Independent and social interaction), Skill development video games (Math Blasters), reading, educational crafts and experiments, gardening (S.A. Botanical Garden has excellent children gardening classes), tutoring and educational therapy for those with specific or general learning problems, special educational camps or classes and family outings and vacations with an educational emphasis.
Social – Build in some social activity everyday (sibs, parents and peers), camps (day or overnight) can provide socialization skills and build independence, youth groups (community and faith based), theme parks, Zoo, Botanical Gardens, children museums, fishing, camping, day trips.
Free time – Schedule some free time in the morning and afternoon and discuss acceptable use of free time. Engage your children when coming up with appropriate choices. We all need our own time to decompress, and we need to learn how to manage free time.

Second, make a schedule with your purpose and activities in mind. School children are already accustomed to following schedules, and they tend to thrive on well-developed schedules that are designed on purpose. Structure is necessary and by incorporating a variety of stimulating activities into your schedule, you improve your summertime and recovery experience.

When we put in the work that is needed to develop a plan with purpose our children experience less boredom, have less sibling conflicts and we are better able to manage their environment so they can better manage their choices.

Lastly, spend quality time together, make great memories and have some fun. Family is the “factory that makes people.” Make the necessary adjustments for your summertime schedule and your factory will produce great people.

Send in your ideas for summertime activities. Until next time―Claim your power and expand your dreams! ~Dr. B

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