Summer holidays are here, the kids can sleep in late, and most parents appreciate the more relaxed schedule. But happiness can soon turn into mayhem when kids who are used to following a set schedule suddenly have too much time on their hands.
Summer Holiday Ground Rules
* Limit TV, computer and video game time. If you don’t set a limit for how much and how often your kids will quickly turn into video game addicted couch potatoes.
* Create a chore chart. Kids can help out around the house. Give each child 2-3 age appropriate chores to do everyday such as dusting, filling and emptying the dishwasher and making their beds.
* Set curfews for the older kids and make sure they know when to check in and what time they will be home. It is also a good idea to keep tabs on who they are spending their time with and to get to know their parents.
* Since you have to prepare more meals in the summer keep lots of healthy snacks on hand and get the kids to help with some of the meals such as making their own toast for breakfast or helping you make a salad for dinner.
* To avoid having your house turn into the neighborhood hangout make it clear to your kids who can visit and how long they can stay, making sure you have plenty of family time.
* Advise your children that you are not their chauffeur and you will not be driving them around constantly. Plan a few outings such as a trip to the beach or the movie theater but advise them that they will not be going out every day of the week.
* Avoid sibling rivalry: When kids who don’t normally spend much time together during the school year are suddenly around each other 24/7 they can get on each others’ nerves. Make sure that children know when to take turns on the computer or TV so you don’t end up being a referee for their battles.