Summer’s Here: What DO I DO?!?
By: Katherine Burgett
Changes in schedules can be challenging even for the most flexible of children. Following these simple guidelines will lead you to a fabulous, fun-filled summer that both you and your children will enjoy.
- Keep a Routine regarding sleeping, eating, and waking. Meeting these basics needs and keeping them consistent will add an element of stability to your child’s day, increasing their level of comfort and calm.
- Arrange Time for Friends: Play with peers is important in establishing relationships, using social skills, learning through hands-on experiences, and having FUN.
- Be Prepared: Safety and security are important. Plan outings that are kid friend (do your research) and have a “go bag” ready. (GO bags should include light weight clothing, sunscreen, water, snacks, and baggies for wet clothes.)
- Establish Smooth Transitions:
- Give a 10, then 5 minute warning.
- Allow extra time for child to request “5 more minutes, PLEEEASE”, so that you can say yes. This means giving 10 minute warning 15 minutes before you need to pack up and go.
- Have a nice reward waiting in the car: favorite toy, cool drink, snuggly blanket, DVD, music
- Make sure basic needs are met (sleep, food, body temp) to reduce possible meltdown. When we feel good, we respond better to change or disappointment.
- Acknowledge and respond to child:
- Repeat what child said “I know you want to stay longer.”
- Acknowledge emotion “It is disappointing to leave fun places/friends.”
- Talk about future, “We can make another playdate soon.” “I love coming here too. We should do it again.”
- Remind of reward waiting for them. “Let’s go get your blanket.” “Remember your teddy bear is in the car. He’s waiting for you.” “You played so hard today. Let’s go relax with a movie.”