Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Family Routines

Summer is a break from the normal school year activities, but don’t let that stop you from maintaining some structure for your children and family unit. It is important to remember to have family learning and bonding time. Follow these ideas to keep your children and family on track, build family rituals, and try new ways of reaching goals.

Read – Many of us read to our children, but things can sometimes get in the way. Summer is the perfect time to get back to reading regularly to your children. Let every family member contribute ideas to a “book bucket list” and select them together. Designate a time of night when you and your children will read together.

Family Meeting – If you don’t already have regular family meetings, summer is an excellent time to start or to get back on track. Family meetings should be routine, not the go to when someone is in trouble. Try pairing the meeting with a special ritual, such as milk and cookies. Start with questions such as; What happened this week? What is coming up next week? What is something wonderful someone did for you? What is something wonderful you did for someone? What are your concerns?

Dinner – Take advantage of having a little more sunlight in your day and try some new fun dinner rituals. Have your children help add to the menu or help you cook. This routine encourages family meals where everyone is engaged and present, as well as teaching simple cooking skills.

Calendar – Time flies in the summer! Each member of your family may have special things they would like to do over the summer. Sometimes, the only way to make sure something happens is to schedule it. Sit down with your family at the start of the season and make a summer bucket list. Make a plan for when these activities will happen and place them on a physical wall calendar where everyone in the family can see it. 

Post by Isa Salvador, LCSW, IMH-E III, CCYT