Isn’t summer amazing? Instead of winter’s barren, bleak cold, you’ve got gorgeous, warm, sunshiney weather that’s perfect for hiking, camping, reading a book in the hammock outside, splashing in the pool, having a barbecue with friends…and so much more! Kids are able to get in on the fun as well because they don’t have to contend with school for the next couple of months.
Great for them…and maybe not so great for you. If your kids attend public or private school, you’re used to them being away for much of the day and not having to entertain them. And if you homeschool, you may still miss the structure and basic predictability of school days.
Now your kids are either running around like crazy or they’re moping around the house with ‘nothing to do’. Either way, you need to get them in line so that they can make the most of their summer, even if it doesn’t seem like you’re being a fun, helpful parent at first. That’s why we’ve listed out these summer rules for kids–your kids! They can get some structure to their summer days…and you can get some sanity.
Try implementing these six summer rules for kids:
Rule #1: Screen time is limited to minutes or hours
One of the first summer rule for kids that you need to consider is to limit their screen time. Technology can the bane of a parents’ existence. On the one hand, it’s nice to have a tablet or a DVD to keep your child occupied or help them get schoolwork done. But on the other hand, it can be incredibly frustrating to see your child while away the summer days by playing around with a screen instead of fun in the sun.
So put some limits on the amount of screentime your children are allowed to have! Whether you give them several minutes, an hour, or a few hours…the choice is yours. You’re in the charge of your family!
We would also recommend not letting your child go on any kind of technology until they’ve completed the other chores/duties/etc. that you’ve given them to do. But again, it’s totally up to you!
Rule #2: Play outdoors
Ah, summer. The perfect time of year to play outside and soak in all that gorgeous sun, don’t you think? But while you are busy working on your tan, your kids might not actually be as excited about playing in the great outdoors.
We don’t know about your children specifically, and every child is different, but there are certainly kids who’d rather be inside watching a movie than outside, running around. You can promote outdoor time by taking your kids on fun outdoor outings, like a trip to the zoo! There are also summer camps that encourage children to play outside, and these can be a great way for the youths to spend time outdoors.
Rule #3: Complete their personal hygiene routine
Whatever this means for you and your family, it’s a good idea to make sure that your child or children complete a personal hygiene routine very soon after waking up. Good habits can definitely be formed at a young age. Brushing teeth, combing hair, washing face, and so on are all great things to get your child to do.
Rule #4: Do all their chores
Unless your child is a literal baby, they should have some simple, age appropriate chores to accomplish each day/week. Of course, these chores depend on so many things: the age of your child, the house you live in, the work that you already do and wouldn’t want delegated, etc. If your child currently doesn’t have any chores around the house, this summer would be the perfect time to change that–especially because you don’t have school in the way.
Rule #5: Do a kind, thoughtful act for someone else
While summer is definitely a time for relaxation, fun, and some ‘me time’, we should always look out for those around us and do what we can to make their lives happier and more blessed. And it’s a great idea to instill that thought in your child’s mind from a very early age.
It would be awesome if you prompted your child to do one nice thing for someone each day–something that all of us would benefit from doing, in fact! This can only take a few moments of their (or your) time and it really can make all the difference in the world for someone else.
Rule #6: Eat only when appropriate
Kids LOVE to snack, don’t they? While you certainly might be more lax about allowing snacks during the summer months–it’s practically a two month vacation, so why not?–it’s good for kids to have healthy food boundaries that allow them some freedom of choice while still ensuring that those choices are healthy and not harmful ones.
Maybe have a designated snack time where they can choose from a variety of fruits or veggies with yummy dips. And, of course, regular mealtimes are practically essential for a child’s physical development and general wellbeing.