Night Buddies - Adventures After Lights Out

Surviving and Thriving During Your Child’s Summer Vacation

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As we come to the end of July, you’re probably thinking one thing:

“Only one more month until school starts again.”

Some of you may be thinking of that as a negative; of course, it’s wonderful to have more time to spend with your children, and can be difficult to establish new school routines once the years begins again, but I have a feeling the majority of us parents are counting down the last days of summer with a thrill. Finding time to work (write), finding ways to keep your children entertained, and keeping them content and cool in the hot, humid months is quite possibly a parent’s most difficult time of year. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I’ve been a working, single parent for quite some time now, and have these tips to share with you that will not only make this last month of summer survivable, but one of the best months in your year!

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Make a plan, and make it with your child. Planning is the ultimate key to maintaining balance and order to your fun times with children; it helps you avoid pits of boredom, spontaneously doing something your kid will hate or be too young/old for, and it allows everyone to be on the same timeline. Making the plan with your son/daughter helps them feel involved and important in the process, and it allows you to better understand what they find enjoyable. Whether the plan is for an ordinary day or a weekend getaway, making plans ensures that everyone’s thoughts as to how something will go are on the same page.

Find a balance in setting. It’s easy as a working parent to decide to send your kids off to summer camps during the weekdays, but sometimes all they will want to do is hang out at home. Try finding a few days to work from home, see if a friend or family member you trust can come spend the day with them, or see if they can stay at a friend’s house. Constant activity is what your kids should be getting a break from during the summer; make sure that as many days you fill their time with fun, you also allow them to have relaxing days at home. It’ll save you from burned out, grumpy kid syndrome!

Give a variety options. Make two lists, one of activities, books, and movies you and your child can enjoy together, and one of activities, books, and movies they can enjoy alone. Make sure you cross of one thing on each list every day, so you know you are spending the quality time with your kid both of you desire, and you also know that they aren’t getting into trouble or being bored out of their mind when they are on their own. It’s also good to divide the list into inside and outside activities, so whether a day is sweltering hot or a great day to be outside, there is an activity to choose from!

Sometimes, just give in. The reality is, your son or daughter is going back to school soon, where they’ll be busy with school, homework, and extracurriculars every day of the week. If they really want to watch television for a few hours or play video games when you think they should be reading or playing outside, sometimes it’s better to let them indulge themselves. You’ll have to make sure not to let them spend their entire summers lazing around looking at screens, but that doesn’t mean they should never get a lazy day. Just like you, your kids should be allowed to spend part of their vacations re-charging.

These are the tips that helped me to look forward to summer vacations while my son John was growing up, and I hope they help you too! What is your favorite summer vacation activity? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Why Your Local Library is the Perfect Summer Hangout

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It’s official . . . school is out for the summer! While your child is probably jumping for joy at the idea of spending an entire season away from classrooms, homework, and early mornings, us parents tend to have a few more hesitations during this long break. How do we keep our children busy? How will we afford to keep them entertained? When are we going to get all of our work done? (A hard enough task for stay-at-home parents when school is in session!)

The best answer to all of these questions? Make the local library your regular summer hangout spot. Here’s why:

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Libraries are free entertainment. You’ll get yourself and your children out of the house when they’re going stir-crazy, there are usually summer programs like shows and games for kids during the summer months, and there’s an endless supply of free reading material to keep your kids from watching too much television! Added bonus—when it’s time to head home, you get to take the entertainment with you for free.

Libraries provide an environment for you to work in while your children are being entertained. Pick a nice desk close to the children’s area, set up your laptop, and you’ll be good to go. During those performances or game hours, you’ll be free to enjoy an uninterrupted, quiet hour of work or writing. Added bonus—you won’t have to pay for a babysitter since you’ll always only be a few feet away from your kids!

Libraries are air-conditioned. Save some money on your electricity bill and escape the summer heat in the library. Added bonus—for some reason, every library I go to ends up feeling cooler than my own house!

You’ll be helping your kids progress their reading skills even during their time-off. Chances are, your kids won’t want to feel like they’re doing homework over the summer; they’ve had enough of logging their silent reading hours and writing book reports. But when you enter them into library contests and they end up reading multiple books in a week hoping to win prizes, they’ll be learning just as much as they did in school and will be prepared to enter their next school year. Added bonus—you’re helping them learn without hearing complaints!

So there you have it! The next time your kids are feeling bored with their summer vacation, take them down to your local library. It’s the perfect place for kids and parents to spend their time.

When was the last time you visited your local library? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I want to thank everyone who entered in my Amazon giveaway last week. There were so many entries that the giveaway ended the same day it began; it blew me away! Be sure to stay tuned on my Twitter page for more information about future contests!

 

 

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