Tips for Surviving Summer Break With Your Kids
Source: Family Service Agency (FSA)
Summer break is finally here! While some families are ready to let loose, others may feel a sense of unease without the structure and safety that the school day provides. Family Relationship Educators at Family Service Agency (FSA) encourage all families to enjoy their time off from school by establishing positive and caring routines for their children.
By using nurturing parenting routines, parents can empower their children by building their sense of consistency, predictability, and success—which in turn enhances their self-esteem. For nurturing routines to work, it is important that parents view them as a partnership where parent and child work together toward a common goal.
“As parents, we tend to want to do everything for the child,” says Family Relationship Educator, Andrea Fuentes. “Instead of expressing the feeling that you are in charge or giving the impression you don’t have time, try offering your child choices and allowing their input.”
Practice gently rubbing your child’s back, getting down to their level, and turning things into a game. Talk softly, have a sense of humor, and praise your child. Say things like “I love that you’re my daughter/son,” and “I really like how you helped today.”
According to Fuentes, nurturing parenting rituals are great for those especially difficult times—chores, dressing, feeding, bathing, and bedtimes. Observe your child and see what they can do to help. Assist them, but let them take the lead. Try breaking down tasks into smaller steps.
Nurturing routines help children develop their autonomy and independence at the same time they learn to cooperate. The whole family benefits when systematic family procedures are established. Routines help children to cooperate because they know what to expect. They help parents because a cooperative child generates less stress than a child who challenges and questions all requests.
Remember to reach out when you need help. Family Service Agency offers parenting and healthy relationship classes several times throughout the year. Visit our website at FSAcares.org to learn more.
Family Service Agency (FSA)-Santa Maria Valley Youth & Family Center is a nonprofit social service organization that has served Santa Barbara County since 1899. FSA improves the health and well-being of the community’s most vulnerable children, families, and seniors through their transformative and essential programs: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Senior Services, Family Support Services, Youth & Family Behavioral Health, and School Counseling Services. All services are provided free or on a sliding fee/donation scale and no one is denied assistance because of an inability to pay. Visit fsacares.org or call (805) 965-1001 for more information.