It's summer. Everyone is hot and cranky. Your children have changed their mantra from "we don't want to go to school" to "we're bored." As parents, we look forward to summer vacation as the time for our family to enjoy each other's company, but it doesn't always seem to work out that way. Try these ten terrific tips to help you and your family stay connected, while making the most of this special summer season.
- Keep bedtimes fairly consistent. It's fine to get to bed an hour later in the summer if sleeping later is also possible, but getting into the habit of staying up until you can't keep your eyes open isn't good for anyone. It will also make it more difficult getting back into the old routine next fall. Even if it's still light out, try to stick within an hour of regular bedtimes. A sudden change can cause everyone to get cranky.
- Serve regular meals and snacks. Hungry children are not fun to be with. Hungry parents are even worse. Without the enforced schedule of school, it's easy to slip into some bad patterns. Watch the clock and make sure there are plenty of healthy snacks available.
- Limit cooking. Try to keep salads, sandwiches, and fresh fruits and vegetables on hand at all times. Hot food isn't as tempting in the summer anyway and hot kitchens are definitely not appealing.
- Plan some family activities. Even if you aren't taking a vacation, you can visit nearby attractions like parks, museums or lakes. To find local activities online just search for your city online at Yahoo or go to a nearby hotel, resort or restaurant and scan the tourist racks for ideas.