Non-existent bedtimes, indulgent diets, and excessive screentime. It’s summer, the kids are way out of their school routine, and most of us have seriously relaxed all of our usual rules. Right?
Don’t beat yourself up, we all do it. It’s fun — for a while, anyway. But, back to school time is right around the corner. Are you ready? You may be, but your kids most certainly are not! Here are some strategies to regain some control, and help prepare the kids for the advent of a new school year.
You can still allow them to stay up a little later, but start reinforcing a specific, reasonable bedtime. If they fuss, tell them their earlier, school-night bedtime is always an option. (That should do the trick!)
Come up with a list of simple chores to be done throughout the day, such as making their beds, feeding the family pets, etc. It may cut down a little on the boredom, and gently prepare them for the return of structured days.
It’s not too late to get in on our local libraries’ summer reading fun — with prizes as incentive. There are also both local and online STEM programs to take advantage of. Find topics and genres that appeal to them, and set aside daily time to stimulate the old gray matter.
This can be tied in with the chore list and brain exercises. Completion of each household tasks and/or an hour of STEM or reading can earn them electronics and television privileges.
Nobody wants to be a summertime killjoy, but slowly easing structure and routine back into your kids’ day will help reduce the brutal culture shock of going back to school!