Summer time – kids out of school, vacation opportunities, kick back time yet also the potential for family stress. Multiple choices, lack of structure, kid’s brain drain, and limited resources can make the summer a negative experience for a family.
The unintended message of a recent commercial for a GPS device provides some clues to help a family plan a vacation that meets the needs of all family members while creating closer bonds among members of the family. We illustrate how the family meeting process, an integral part of Family Centered Parenting, can be utilized to engage the family in creating a vacation plan that is owned by the family and that increases the odds that the vacation will truly be memorable. Utilizing brainstorming and practicing effective communication principles all members of the family are encouraged to take part in researching and planning the upcoming vacation.
We also know that parents are rightly concerned with the potential loss of academic skills during the summer. On one hand, kids do need a break from “school work” but not necessarily a hold on thinking and learning. We offer creative tips on how learning in the summer can be fun and not feel like the kids are still in school. Other issues addressed are child care needs, teenagers seeking jobs and preparing the kids for the return to school – especially when there is a transition to a new school or moving to a new community.
In our concluding segment, “There’s Got To Be a Better Way” we will share what we did as parents raising our kids to enhance the summer time experience for both the kids and the parents.