Toward the end of the school year, various attitudes surface among children. Some children begin to slack off -- much like the “senioritis” that some seniors experience. Some children work harder to make sure they pass the final exams. Other children seem to develop a touch of “spring fever,” and their minds seem to be on the summer instead of the present time.
Parents also begin to look forward to the summer. They, too, have various attitudes. Some parents begin to dread having the children at home all summer. Other parents begin worrying about babysitters or places to send the children to take up part of the time. Wise parents will plan ahead to make sure that the summer is well spent for the child’s growth socially, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Here are some general ideas to help parents plan.
Social Growth ActivitiesArrange a family get-together with relatives at least once during the summer. Arrange a get-together with another family or two during the summer. Enroll children in activities in the community. Teens should be encouraged to get a job appropriate to their ability.
Physical Growth ActivitiesAllow the children to sign up for a ball team, swimming team or another group that uses physical activity. Play with the children. Do lake activities such as water skiing or swimming.
Mental ActivitiesMake sure the children visit the local library a few times. Encourage the children to have a one-hour quiet time each day to read or write. Help the children make out a budget to use any money they may earn doing chores or at a job. Take a trip out of the area. Stop at historical markers along the way. Have maps available, or let them use electronic devices, for children to track progress on the trip.
Spiritual ActivitiesEnroll the children in a summer church camp. Be sure to take children to church each Sunday and allow them to participate in church activities. Take advantage of Vacation Bible School conducted by many churches.
No child likes to think that every minute has been planned for him/her. Now is the time to sit down with the children and let them help do the planning. Any plans should include chores to help around the house and a certain amount of routine.
It has been said that some people plan what they want to happen, others watch what happens, and still others wonder what happened. Good parents should plan what happens and not find themselves at the end of the summer wondering what happened.