Parenting Tip of the Week – Summer Break and Routine

Do your kids struggle with routines during the summer when school is out? Today’s Parenting Tip of the Week is about the importance of routine for children and how you can help keep stress levels low by creating a summer routine of your own.

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The Importance of Structure and Routine

Just as it is for adults, change can be stressful for children. Unfortunately, growing up comes with constant change that can be difficult for your child. Moving, new siblings, new teachers, the list goes on and on. Summer break is another example of change that can mess with your child’s routine.

Consistent routines are key to getting your child from one activity to another – meltdown free. When children know what to expect throughout the day, they are less likely to put up a fight when it’s time to head out the door.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, having a daily routine in place will not only help your child, but you as well! You both know what to expect each day, making the child feel safe and helping them understand your expectations. Here are four simple suggestions for creating a consistent summer routine for your children.

Creating a Summer Routine

  1. Create a daily schedule and put it in a place everyone will see it. Create a schedule for your family (an example provided by the CDC can be found here) and hang it where your child can see it each day. Try to keep times consistent, for example having lunch every day at 12:00, nap time every day at 2:00, etc.
  2. Include chores alongside fun activities on the schedule. Letting your child know what you expect is critical to your relationship. Keeping chores as a consistent part of the schedule can help cut down on the frustration of doing chores since your children will know what to expect ahead of time.
  3. Have your child check off each activity as the day goes on. This will help your child look forward to exciting activities and feel accomplished when each is done! Keeping fun items alongside boring ones like chores can help your children stick to their routines.
  4. Keep it positive! Reward your child for following a daily routine with good behavior. For example, you can use stars for every item your child does in their routine without complaint, and give a certain reward, like a trip to get ice cream, after your child has accumulated a certain number of stars. For more inspiration, check out this sample reward chart.

How do you get your kids onto a summer schedule? Let us know by tweeting us @PCAAmerica or by leaving a comment on our Facebook page!