The Open Door: School is out for the summer.

Wow! School is almost over. The kids are getting antsy. This is a great opportunity for discussion around expectations for finishing up the school year well. It is also a good time to discuss summer plans and what you will expect from them in terms of curfew, chores and any other changes in their routine once school is out.

Programming is important and will be helpful in keeping children busy with summer fun, reducing the risk of boredom and opportunities to find trouble. The list is long for camps and recreation programs. Not sure where to turn for information? Start by contacting the recreation department in your town. Another good resource is your child’s school. Some community colleges also offer fun and educational summer programs. Some camps offer scholarships. It is worth inquiring about these because this may give your child an opportunity that he/she otherwise might not have. It is important not to wait until the last minute because many sleep away and day camp programs have limited room and may fill up quickly.

Summer memories and shared childhood experiences help to shape our kids so their activities need to be well thought out and planned. This allows kids to feel the break from school while still giving them the opportunity to grow as people. As for older children, I might suggest setting some goals for the summer and reviewing their progress periodically throughout the season. It is very validating for them to see that they followed their plan and accomplished their goals. Focus on those areas of interest for your child, like improving sports skills or assisting younger kids as a junior counselor in a recreation program.

The important thing is not to let your child’s summer be with out activity. Bored kids tend to find trouble. As always, none of us is as smart as all of us and I welcome input for this discussion.

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