Successful Summer Plans

Some ideas to create a great summer! 

 1- Summer Goals  
      Have your kids make a list of things they would like to do by the end of the summer. Help them think in many different categories. Books, projects, places, things to learn, even projects around the house such as learning to cook or do laundry.  Make sure they are fun and not just things to avoid.  

      Break goals and projects down into smaller milestones to achieve in week by week, with step-by-step plans to create success.  This also creates positive anticipation and happier kids.  

      In addition to individual goals, create some family goals and perhaps even a community project to participate in. 
      Make a chart for the whole family, where everyone can log their goal progress and encourage each other as the days go by. 

For more ideas, check out the articles posted on Facebook this week to help families create fun summertime plans.   


2-Set a Simple Summer Schedule.  
    Having a simple routine can help keep everyone happy, healthy & sane. This is also what will help them persevere, stay motivated and succeed with their goals this summer. 

      Routines build positive habits and reduce conflict about daily activities and expectations such as grooming, eating and chores.  The schedule may just be outlining mealtimes, quiet times, media times, outside time, social time, and/or outing time.  This avoids having all day, every day turning into media time or social time.  


3- Plan to make Memories.  
     Helping children recall their positive memories is as important as participating in them.  Often, people have a good life, but only focus on the negative and are then unhappy.  Help your child recall and retell the good memories each day, the progress they are making, and the successes they have. 

      Other memory making things can include; *celebrating with a family awards ceremony for working toward goals, 
*family events followed by drawing, journaling and sharing about it. *family themes over the summer, *and the thing kids usually love most, one-on-one time with you. 

4- Use the summer to teach them how to set up and prepare ahead for activities.
      With a simple schedule in place and goals set, you are in a perfect position to use this time to teach important life lessons that will help kids in school and as adults. 

      Help them think ahead what they need to get out, have prepared and set up for their next activity, project, or outing and get it out the night before. It may help to use check lists to make it visual.  Simple things like getting out clothes, project supplies, or outing gear for the next morning will help them stay on task, anticipate it, and be ready.  They can prepare for the next meal by getting out dishes needed, etc.   

      It's more fun to get things out ahead of time than to put them away after.  However, getting them out, setting up & being prepared can also help in appreciating taking care of belongings after.  In fact, putting things away can become part of also setting up for the next activity.  Even putting toothpaste on the toothbrush before dinner (or breakfast) can reduce resistance to brushing teeth when it's time.  

Experiment with it. Have fun, and know you really are teaching lifetime lessons in all these little ways.