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CounselingNH E-Zine, Issue #005 Summertime Activities and Structure for Parents and Children
July 01, 2008

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July 1, 2008 Volume 1, Issue #005-Summertime Activities And Structure For Parents and Children

A Note From Jim

Feature Article: Summertime Activities And Structure For Parents and Children by James Foster

A Note From Jim:

Jim Foster here. Hello everyone. Well, summer time is finally here again. It seemed like school would never end. Now suddenly we’re thrust into summer. We’re all relieved yet summer boredom is likely to set in quickly with there being more limited resources then there were in previous years. I thought I’d pass on a few thoughts and ideas to help parents design the transition from school to summer. Hope you find it useful. ________________________________________________________________

Summertime Activities and Structure for Parents and Children by James Foster

Children have long awaited the beginning of summer and all it represents. This includes staying up late, sleeping in, free time, spontaneous activities, and bicycling to name a few. Sounds great, right? So why are tensions going to build, kids going to be bored and frustrations going to occur if they haven’t already? This is because structure ended when school came to an end. All of the things that kids long to do when they’re busy with school lose some of their meanings when kids actually have the time to do these things. Kids, because they are kids aren’t real good at figuring out what then? How will I spend the rest of the day and what will I do when I begin to lose interest in my favorite activity after the first six, eight or ten hours? The answer to this is that parents need to stay ahead of the children by anticipating their needs. Kids want to play but they need structure. Without this, play will quickly lose its meaning. School time life is very structured from early morning until after dinner. While the summer time structure can certainly be more relaxed than the school time structure it still needs to be in place. Not only is it a good idea but children need it. In fact if you don’t design the summer time structure, they will and neither of you may end up liking the structure. The three basic elements of structure are time, activities and routine. Kids should have an established time to get up in the morning, to eat and to do chores. We encourage frequent and even long periods of play throughout the day after the early morning routine is performed. Consider some reading or school subject practice time. Initially children will resist this but if it becomes an expected part of the child’s morning it will become a non-issue. The goal of this is to help children maintain academic skills though practice. Physical activity should also always be part of a child’s day. The more energy there is released during the day, the better the child will sleep at night. Some generally expected bedtime is advisable. This bedtime is best maintained by a “get up time” and physical activity level. If these elements are in place, rules about bedtime won’t be the primary incentive for sleep. Also, be sure to build in social time for your youngster with his/her friends. As your child ages, this will become the most important part of their day. As with any structure, check it frequently to make sure its working and modify it in any way that makes sense but occasionally look at it from the following perspective: Your child’s summer days will be structured because it is human nature to structure. Is your child’s summer structure what you want it to be? Or does it need to be modified? Good luck and have a wonderful beginning of the summer.

_________________________________________________________________ WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, so long as you include this complete blurb with it: Entrepreneur and 30 year expert James Foster publishes the bi-weekly CounselingNH Ezine in the areas of family, marriage, relationships and parenting. If you are interested in quality information, tips and resources of ways to enhance your family, marriage, relationships and parenting visit this content rich site at

All the Best,

Jim Foster

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