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 Travel & Leisure

June 2010
7 Parenting Tips for Summer Vacation
Dr Sreedevi Yadavalli
 
As the calendar flips to May, children start counting days to their anticipated break from their straight-jacketed schedule of classes, study, exams and more study, even while parents begin bracing themselves for stresses and struggles that give a whole new meaning to the phrase “long hot summer.”

Well, it can be possible to have a semblance of order in summer, with help from the following tips.

1. Involve your child in minor chores

Expecting your child to wake up like they do during school time would be unreasonable, besides provoking a series of sighs and those dramatic eye-rolls. So set a schedule that involves some minor chores. Explain that if they pitched in, you could have less to do around the house, and possibly enjoy some family time off together later in the evening by catching a movie or just hanging out at the ice cream shop.

2. Insist on physical exercise

Vacation time is when kids develop inclinations to turn couch potatoes. Shove them out of the house to make them stick to their quota of an hour’s physical exercise. It could be swimming, or a neighbourhood cricket match. Whatever keeps them more active and less sloppy!

3. Encourage activities
Enrol them for classes like learning a new craft, singing, dancing or reading. Most teens can be easily prompted to explore topics of interest to them that they may not have had the opportunity to explore during the school year.

4. Negotiate to have them stick to schedule
There could be a host of reasons why your teen wants to stay up late and sleep in the next morning - the kids around the neighbourhood are planning a sleep-over, there’s a late night cricket match or movie, the kids are planning to surprise someone at midnight by wishing happy birthday etc.
Give in once in a way, but on condition that they do get up at least by 10 am. Reassure that they could have an extended afternoon nap to catch up on sleep.

5. Encourage your child to invite friends over
Cook up a meal for them, or order food, and don’t hang around. Let them enjoy themselves without adult ‘interference’. You could even drop them at the movies and pick them up after they are done, or organize a sleep-over with a midnight pizza party.

6. Pack meals to ensure they are eaten
If your child is sleeping in an extra couple of hours, don’t fret. Pack breakfast into a box, leave it on the table and whisper to the sleeping kid that you’re leaving for work because it’s time, and leave. You could call later to ensure that the breakfast’s been eaten. It’s a good idea to pack in lunch too. Children are usually habituated to eating packed meals from an early age, and end up finishing it too. Not packing a meal may result in eating inadequate quantity or even skipping the meal altogether.

7. Plan your own vacation during summer
If you could also plan your own vacation during the summer, you would actually have a family outing and travel to some interesting places. This would lead to good bonding, besides ensuring a memorable vacation for everyone.

Have a goody two shoe summer vacation!


    
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