Uh-oh – the summer holidays are on the way. And in the digital age, holidays could mean …
A colossal amount of screen time for your children and a lot of nagging on your part.
It didn’t use to be this way; the summer holidays were once a chance to break free from school and spend as much time as possible outdoors. Maths lessons, icy-cold sports days and homework made way for water fights, reading, playing, long trips to the park and picnics.
So, how does one instil that same sense of summer adventure in the modern kid? Thankfully, it’s much easier than you might think and comes down to setting routines.
Here’s how you can build routine into the school holidays to ensure you enjoy a long summer with your kids that boost life-skills and self-competence whilst featuring managed screen time.
Set fun personal objectives
Imagine the smile you’d be met with if you told your child that the usual objectives (learning the times table, the complexities of the grammar and such) are to be swapped for something far more fun during the school holidays.
Be it learning to swim, ride a bike, practice cartwheels, read a book set or finally make headway on the guitar they were bought for Christmas, personal objectives during the summer holidays are great ways to keep kids entertained and engaged. You’ll call upon their inherent sense of adventure and creativity to foster a skill that will be cherished.
Create daily chores
Yep, that’s right – you can put the kids to work this summer, too!
Summer means more time in and around the house and children should participate to some daily tasks to develop their competence. You can add some competition or reward to make it enticing (“first one to empty the dishwasher gets the last ice cream!”) and you’ll soon find that your little helpers become very helpful indeed.
Allow screen time, but keep it under check
There’s nothing wrong with screen time, but it needs to be kept at a sensible level and built into other, activity-based routines.
Happily, this is relatively easy to achieve during the summer. What child wouldn’t swap three hours in front of the Xbox for an impromptu game of football with their friends or fun family time? When they realize that screens are not off-bound but healthy screen allowances are agreed on you’ll successfully have prevented their eyes from staring at a screen all day.
They’ll soon learn the formula: Outdoors + Activities = Video Games/screen time Later.
Offer up some daily ‘bonus chores’
Aside from the general house tidying stuff, there’ll doubtless be a bunch of tasks you know need completing but which are some way south on your to-do list.
Why not involve the kids to get those tasks ticked-off? Give them the opportunity to volunteer on a daily basis and maybe offer a monetary, star or screen time reward for successful completion of each task. That enables your child to choose how they earn their rewards and slowly builds their competence and understanding of responsibility.
Set consistent(ish) morning and evening routines
To ensure everyone gets the most from the summer and avoids spending too much time procrastinating indoors, try and set daily routines which include some chores/helping responsibilities and learning opportunities/personal development objectives with established set screen times.
When a routine is established it allows everyone to know what is expected and when. It also can alleviate the stress of constant instruction-giving and reminders.
Summer is a wonderful time during which kids should be empowered to explore the world around them and learn new skills that will serve them brilliantly in future life.
Using our tips above and investing in an app like Kidibank™ that will help you set those goals, track their progress and keep screen time in check to ensure ending the summer sane and with some very happy children indeed.
The Kidibank™ the positive parenting app for financial literacy, routines settings, goals & chores management, self-competence building and screen time tracking is now all stores! Download it now with a FREE month’s trial. (Yearly cross-platforms Family subscription of $12.99 for up to 4 adults and 6 children, no in-app purchases or additional charges for upcoming content & features – local stores charges may vary)