8 Tips For Parenting In A Pandemic This Summer To Save Your Sanity

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8 Tips For Parenting This Summer
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It’s the beginning of July and school has ended. There are only a few summer camps open, and they might not be particularly safe, given increases in coronavirus outbreaks.

So, you have to rely on completely new summer parenting tips to get through your kids' off time. Now what?

Parents, if you decide not to take the risk and enroll your kids in summer camp, you will have to create a way to keep your kids engaged while still trying to work and maintain some sense of sanity.

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If you were planning to send your child to camp, is it worth it — even if the organization takes every precaution possible?

Two, if you choose for your child to participate in a virtual summer camp, that will mean more screen time after two and a half months of online school.

So, it looks like the best alternative is to stay home. But how do you balance providing a variety of activities for your child while maintaining a sense of peace for yourself?

Here are 8 ways you can plan out your child’s activities for the summer and still maintain your sanity.

1. Set expectations for the summer.

It’s best you let your kids know that they will be expected to read books over the summer and maybe even work on a skills workbook.

There is such a thing as the "summer slide," yet. According to a study by Scholastic Books, 20 percent of children ages six to 17 read no books over the summer, with that percentage trending higher between ages 15 and 17 at 32 percent.

Reading allows your child’s imagination to take flight and forget about having the summers they are used to.

2. Keep their daily schedules flexible.

Remember, your children just ended months of somewhat excruciating online schooling. You don’t want the summer to be a repeat performance.

As a parent, you will want to look at your work calendar and try to plan their skills work around those meetings. When you have the flexibility to enjoy activities either inside or outside, your time together will be much more pleasant.

3. Choose how you plan out your kids' summer days.

If your children are younger, a set schedule will probably be the best way to go. But if your kids are tweens or teens, you will want to set their schedule based on their learning style.

For example, your child may have more of a “doer” personality and respond better to a to-do list, as opposed to a scheduled day.

Keep in mind that no matter what you choose, it will be imperative to make sure there are consequences if they don’t complete their daily tasks.

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4. Technology may have to be your friend.

Cell phones, video games, and television can provide several hours of daily entertainment for your child, but you have to remind yourself that too much screen time can lead to health issues, anxiety, and depression.

5. Maintain a sense of discipline.

As soon as you hear from your child, “I’m bored,” it will be easy to just chuck it all and just allow them to do whatever, as long as they stay out of your way.

A better alternative may be to ask them for ideas to make their day more exciting, no matter how crazy. It might be the most enjoyable thing you do over the summer.

But stay disciplined. And don’t allow your child’s emotions to dictate giving up.

6. Set boundaries.

Let your kids know there will be times during the day when you’re off-limits and they will have to entertain themselves. That might be a good time for them to go outside and play or do some outside activities like tending the garden.

7. Be vulnerable.

You may wonder why this is on the list, but we as parents constantly struggle with ensuring that our kids get the best.

Kids are smart. They know these aren’t the best of times. If you act like everything is great, it teaches your child to suppress negative emotions and only embrace the positive ones — and that’s not realistic.

When they see that you are struggling with this new normal just like they are, it strengthens your bond.

8. Have a nice summer and relax.

Don't forget to spend some time just relaxing and enjoying your time with your kids.

This is an unprecedented time, and it's difficult on everyone. So, make sure you get to enjoy your children whenever you get the chance.

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Keith Dent is a relationship and life coach, as well as the author of the In "The Paint: How to Win at the Game of Love." His work has appeared on sites like The Good Men Project, MamaMia, and The Real Dads Network. You can reach out to him directly for help planning the summer with your kids.

This article was originally published at Georgetown ACS Blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.