Preparing for the summer holidays

Freedom from routine (turn that alarm off!), vacation from school, family time, fun and gifts. The summer break from school has so much to offer. With all this excitement sometimes kids can get a little carried away. For most families there will be a point when kids get over tired and cranky. So here are some tips to help keep kids happy and ready to enjoy whatever the holiday season brings.

Keep routines: Although it’s good to have downtime and a break from routines, remember children often feel more secure when routines are in place. Turn off the alarm, but perhaps find a reason to wake them in the morning and keep them in a familiar routine. Let them sleep in a little, but wake them with a nice breakfast, or a fun game or activity, or even a little quiet time reading a book with mom or dad.

Thinking of others and random acts of kindness. Giving gifts of time spent with others, homemade projects, donating old toys and books can be just as rewarding as getting them. We have learned that thinking about others, bringing a little joy and happiness to others, and being grateful support our own self-esteem and happiness. Giving a few pennies to the salvation army, helping at the homeless shelter, checking on an elderly neighbor etc. there are many ways we can teach this lesson to our children while at the same time helping them support their resiliency.

Kids like to be helpful. There’s always lots to do around the house in summer, such as deep cleaning, making cookies, sorting cupboards and mowing the grass. Being helpful increases kids’ self-reliance and self-esteem.

Sensory overload: holidays often include activities with lots of strangers, outings and visits, and trips to see family and friends. Try not to over schedule and keep demanding events to one a day. Make sure your kids have some downtime and relaxation. Monitor your child’s frustration level and reduce the sensory overload if it looks as if they are becoming overwhelmed.

Include these 4 strategies when you are planning your holiday events. Keep routines as much is possible, consider sensory overload, encourage your kids to be helpful and to think about others, and don’t forget to take care of you. May you have HAPPY SUMMER HOLIDAYS!!!