Summer – the warmest season of the year and a period during which kids can truly be kids.
During the school year, kids are constantly bogged down with the stresses of school and extracurricular activities. Summertime is a truly carefree time in a kid’s life. These three months can go by extremely fast or extremely slow depending on how you choose for your kids to spend their summer.
Kids in the House, the world’s largest educational parenting video library with over 9000 videos from 500 top experts. We sat down with various experts to get their opinion on how kids should spend their summer. What types of activities should they do? What are some summer tips that could enrich their overall experience?
In this article, we help break it down for you and discuss 3 great summer tips.
1. Encourage your children to help others
During the 3 months that your child has off it, would be nice if your kid could do something that would benefit someone else. Encourage them to sign up for local community service activities that could benefit their own community. Some of the most rewarding interactions are when your child is able to work one on one with a person in need.
Robert Brooks, Kids in the House expert, says “Children who help other children are more resilient because they feel like they have a purpose in the world.” In his interview with Kids in the House, titled “Teaching Children to Be Grateful,” Brooks emphasizes that with community service work there will be change in social relationships with people within the community.
If your child decides to tutor another child, read for an elder, or simply donate a toy to a sick child he or she will be more affected by this personal interaction than by solely donating money. When children feel a sense of gratefulness they will become more empathetic.
Brooks expresses that to be empathetic, you are able to read social cues and feel the pain of others. This skill develops overtime, and through community service work your child can become more adept to it.
2. Summer Safety in Public Areas
During the summertime kids always want to be more active – whether that be swimming all day or heading to a wild theme park. It is important to know that as parents you must always look out for their safety.
Gavin De Becker, Kids in the House expert, is one of the nations leading safety experts. He states that as parents you should “teach your child that if they are ever lost in public, go to a woman instead of a police officer. It’s very easy for kids to confuse a security guard with a police officer.” A security guard might also not be screened. During the summer, theme parks and public swimming pools are extremely crowded, and if you lose your child it is important that he or she knows this.
Another way to make sure your child stays safe this summer is by teaching him or her the buddy system. Marc Klaas of KlaasKids expresses that it is important that you keep your children in twos (the buddy system). If you send your child to the bathroom, have him or her go with someone else. The buddy system allows for a less likelihood that your child will get lost, and if they do, at least they will be with a friend.
3. Scoping out your Child’s Summer Camps
Summer camp is a place where your children will be spending a large amount of time. Whether that be sleep away camp or day camp, it is important to scope out the values that the camp has.
This means you must ask about their bullying policy. Dr. Joel Haber, Kids in the House expert and author of Bullyproof Your Child for Life: Protect your child from teasing, expresses the importance of asking the camp director about their bullying policy. Summer camp is a new social circle for your children, and it can have new challenges.
Dr. Peter Stavinoha, another Kids in the House Expert, encourages parents to do research on the camp for counselor to kid ratio and the variation of activities. Do they have higher-level risk activities and do they provide more staff for those activities? It is important for the camp counselors to have been cleared by a background check. It is also important to trust your intuition as a parent and if you feel a camp is not right for your chilren then do not enroll them.
Overall, these 3 different tips should help you all survive the 3 months with your child at home and utilize the time in an efficient manner.
For more videos about various tips check out kidsinthehouse.com
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.