Can you believe we’ve already made it to Monday again?! Are you wondering what you are going to do with this week? If you are having a difficult time keeping your children active and engaged during this summer, please know that you are definitely not the only ones! Social distancing guidelines are in place, camps are closed, and many of you are trying to work while caring for your kids. Here are eleven tips to help you manage this week, and hopefully the next few weeks to come!

1.     Activity scheduling

  • Plan out the day beforehand – it will give everyone a reason to get up and have things to look forward to!

2.     Maintain routines

  • Set your alarm for the same time every day, make your bed, get dressed and ready for the day, try to eat meals around a similar time each day, have a set bedtime, etc. It’s good to have some normalcy in abnormal times.

3.     Help your children work on their life skills

  • Life skills are rarely taught in schools anymore, so take this summer time to help your kids with the basics like cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning! Once they learn, these activities can keep them occupied while you work!

4.     Help your child learn a new chore

  • Similar to learning life skills, learning a new chore is a useful way to keep children occupied. Depending on age-appropriateness, perhaps you can teach them how to weed, mow the lawn, or take out the trash/recycling. Assigning these chores to an individual in the household and picking a day for each chore to be done can also keep the kids busy while you work.

5.     Help your children learn some independence

  • Start to teach your children some independence and accountability now so that they can continue to develop these important qualities for adulthood! Again, depending on age-appropriateness, try to limit micromanaging and give the kids the opportunity to complete tasks on their own within the time limits that you set!

6.     Prepare your children for the academic year

  • Although there is much uncertainty about the upcoming academic year, your child can still engage in some academic-related activities to prepare for the next grade level. Perhaps make a reading schedule and have your child read a book for 30 minutes a day, find a free online resource that helps teach math, or get some materials to do an easy science experiment! The more you have planned for the day, the easier it will be for you to work from home while the kids are keeping busy!

7.     Have your children journal

  • While this pandemic is unfortunate in a plethora of ways, we are nonetheless all living through an unprecedented and historic time. Having something tangible to look back on will be appreciated when your kids get older. This can also help them with their writing skills to further prepare them for the academic year!

8.     Travel without traveling

  • Your summer vacation may have been cancelled, but you can still ‘travel’ within your home! Many places are offering virtual tours of their sites, so your family can get an online experience until we are able to travel around again. You could also learn online about different cultures and have a night each week where your family prepares a cultural meal together!

9.     Check in with your children

  • This is a stressful time for parents and children alike. Many kids are feeling sad, anxious, and other emotions that they may have never felt before. Open up the conversation to let your children talk to you about their thoughts and feelings and ask them what they think they need or would be helpful to them moving forward.

10. Let kids be kids!

  • You can use some of this extra time as an advantage to help your children learn and grow in the non-academic ways listed above, but it is also important to make sure your children are experiencing the beauty of being a child! Get them outside to ride bikes or play a game of wiffle ball, camp out in your backyard one night with them, let them watch an hour of their favorite TV cartoon show. Your children will cherish the joys of childhood (even during a difficult time) as they age!

11. Sign up for Virtual CommuniCamp™! We have our 4-Day Program this weekend and we are still accepting applications! We also have it scheduled for Aug 14-17 as well as new 1-Day Virtual CommuniCamp Programs! Keep the communication going this summer!

I hope that these ideas help you have a wonderful week! Please reach out if our team can help support you in any way!

Alexis Bracy, M.S.
Doctoral Psychology Extern