Summer is theoretically a more serene time and, for kids especially, it's a break from school and with extra time for fun. However, while summer has its merits and may be a happy time for kids, parents still have a lot on their hands and it's difficult to find ways to effectively balance the demands of life. Parents may struggle to spend quality time with their kids and this may affect them emotionally, especially during the summer when their kids are more available.
There are a number of things that you can do as a parent to create that time with your kids during the summer break.
Put Away the Electronics and Aim for Quality Time
In this technological age, when heads are bent towards some kind of screen and thumbs and fingers are toggling electronics like never before, it is easy to get so engrossed that we bypass family time. However, this should not be allowed to happen
Set Up Family Hour
Declare and consecrate at least 60 minutes a day as family time and be sure to make it clear that during this time no devices will be used. Use this time for family fun, play a board game, go for a walk and take the time to not only talk with but listen to your children. If you work full-time and can't manage a daily family hour be sure to take advantage of weekends and holidays; consider them a golden hour with your family as the priority.
We often underestimate the value of planning but it can often reduce or eliminate chaos and confusion. It is unrealistic to think that you will spend the entire summer with your kids and, as much as they love you, it is highly unlikely that they will want to spend every waking moment with you anyway. So plan ahead and work out how the kids will spend their time when you are busy. Set out some options and then, with everyone on the same page, make a schedule.
Parenting may require shared effort and additional support from family members. Summer may be that time when that favorite aunt or uncle may come in handy. If you are busy but your partner isn't or you can find a responsible family member with time on their hands then drop the kids off for a day and allow them to bond.
If your work schedule allows, you might even consider using this time as your own downtime; we all need a dose of rest and relaxation from time to time.
Connect with your kids
Ok, so we suggested above that family time be electronic device-free. On the other hand, there is no doubt that this generation of kids is tech savvy and our screenagers seem to have been born with a keyboard in hand. So, when you want to spend some one-on-one time with your child, just join them, playing their favorite video or online game. And if you don't know how to play it, get them to teach you.