July is a wonderful month, it brings picnics, family reunions, neighborhood cook outs, small community celebrations and opportunities to create memories! As we enjoy those opportunities it’s also a time to help our children because in their eyes summer lasts so long, and sometimes they are even bored!
Here are some ideas that might help to curb the blues and keep them relaxed, not overscheduled but focused on continued learning.
*Create routine charts for summer days, include daily chores.
*Make something fun out of the ordinary schedule. Take time to play games, walking or play together.
* Talk to each other, learn from one another. Teach your children life skills and listen to their dreams. Make a conversation or question jar to put on the table to have discussions during family mealtimes.
*Create a special memory for the summer, start a new tradition.
Summer can become a wonderful time to build family relationships and learn together. Many of the memories we carry into adulthood stem around the days of summer vacation. During dinner tonight (or one night this week) ask some questions like the following:
*What is your favorite food during summer?
*What would you like to do yet this vacation?
*If you could go anywhere, where would it be? Why?
*What do you miss about school?
*What are you looking forward to about school starting again?
*Are you bored this summer? Why? What can we do to change that?
*What have you leaned this summer?
*What has been your favorite activity or event, so far?
And you can continue from there. Learning to share and communicate is a life skill that everyone can improve upon. Having positive memories do affect our attitudes and our coping abilities. They give us strength to face problems. They also add to our self-esteem and our feelings of family--that our family is special and unique.
When we are aware of the importance of the memories we are shaping we can find the extra time, energy and enthusiasm to carry out family projects and the small and Ainsignificant@ plans that are so important to our children. We can watch our children’s reactions and attitudes and evaluate our behavior and see if it is what we want our children to remember. We all make mistakes as parents, but research shows that what really affects children are the daily interactions, way they are treated and the memories they get from the family experiences they have. So, take time today to talk about and think about the things that are important to you. What are your family values? Why do you feel strongly about being honest or hard working or being a good citizen? Get the calendar our and plan for some happy memories of fun times and work times, memories that can reinforce strength and coping along with the memories of how special your family really is.