Summer is a time of fun and relaxation, but it can also be a time of stress for parents. With the kids home from school, cost of camps and managing all the needs that are unique to summer; it can be difficult to manage their behaviors and keep them engaged and entertained. As a relationship coach, I want to share some tips for managing behaviors in the summer and promoting positive family dynamics. Tip #1: Set expectations Before summer begins, it's important to set expectations with your children. Discuss rules and consequences for behavior and make sure everyone is on the same page. This will help prevent misunderstandings and reduce conflict and will need to be revisited I assure you.
Pro Tip: Including your children, even your young children in the conversation and get feedback and ideas around rules from them; this will create buy in and YOU WILL get more cooperation if you consistently ask for input. People need to feel like they have contributed ; no one likes to be "bossed around"; kids also have the need to contribute to problem solving. Tip #2: Create a routine Having a routine can help children feel more secure and reduce anxiety. Make a schedule that includes activities, meals, and free time. Stick to the routine as much as possible, but be flexible when needed. If your kids are in camps this summer; help yourself by helping them participate in getting their items ready for camp; this teaches personal responsibility, time management, organization skills and these skills will carry over to the school year. Tip #3: Encourage independence Summer is a great time for children to develop independence and responsibility. Encourage them to take on tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or gardening. This will help them feel more capable and confident. Children who feel capable and confident will cooperate more often. Consider your relationship at work or even with your partner; when you feel trusted to complete a project/task and are given the freedom to do said task, how do you feel? As opposed to being micro managed and treated like you can't handle it...... something to consider right?! While our kids may need more training, giving them some opportunities to do tasks , even if not the way we would or 'perfectly' is so important to how they will show up in the future. Tip #4: Practice positive reinforcement Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for promoting good behavior. Acknowledge and compliment your children when they do something well and this will increase positive behavior. This could be as simple as; "wow, I noticed you got all your stuff for camp ready in your backpack, this helps us get our day going so smoothly, YES! "(high five given). Using the example from above; when you are at work or home with your partner and you are appreciated and acknowledged, don't you feel more motivated to do more awesome helpful things?!? Tip #5: Take breaks Taking breaks is important for both children and parents. Schedule time for rest and relaxation, and encourage your children to participate in calming activities such as reading or yoga. This allows us humans to slow down, take time for ourselves and be comfortable not being entertained all the time. We need disengagement from devices and even others to know we are okay with our own company and calm our nervous systems. This is such a valuable lesson and practice that many adults struggle with, so giving this gift to our children is vital in this busy, fast paced world we live in. If you don't already have this practice in your home, try implementing 10 minutes to start of everyone in the home taking "self or me time" on each evening if your family is gone all day or during the day if you are home in the summer. As with any new practice, consistency and actual 'practice' is key; don't expect it to go swimmingly after trying a few times. As a Relationship Coach, I offer support and guidance to help families manage behaviors and promote positive family dynamics. My services include individual, couple and parent coaching, and workshops. I work with parents and educators to develop strategies for managing behavior, promoting positive communication, and creating a happy and healthy home /school environment. If you're struggling with managing behaviors in the summer, or if you need support and guidance as a parent, consider reaching out. Together, we can create a plan for success and help your family thrive.
Happy Summer Everyone!
Connection First Consulting LLC
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