Why Children Need Routines- Even During the Summer –

Even though your child is currently on a Summer Break from school it is easy to fall out of your established routines. Children, like the rest of us, handle changes best if expected and occur in the context of a familiar routine. A predictable routine allows your child to feel safe, and gain a sense of mastery in handling situations in their own lives. As they begin to master more, they can handle bigger changes. Refrain from allowing your children to pick their own bedtime and wake up time during the summer months. Doing so will make it much more difficult to go back to a set bedtime and wake up time once school begins in August. Also, limit the amount of time-spent using electronics daily. This applies to not only television time, but also video games (gaming), and social media. During the summer the Lake Norman Community has lots of outdoor activities, and other fun activities to enjoy. Socialization with others (face to face) is becoming somewhat of a lost art since the creation of the computer, internet and social media platforms. It’s important that children learn social cues and how to carry on a conversation with adults and their peers. Below are a few ideas you can-do together with your children over the summer, as well as throughout the year.
Empower your children by:
• Exposing your child to activities that involve others,
• Allowing them to pay for an item at a store, or
• Ordering what they would like to eat off the menu at a restaurant, or
• Ordering what they would like to eat when driving through a fast food drive thru, as well as
• Letting your child answer questions for themselves when they’re out in the community (instead of you answering for them).
The examples listed above will begin to create a sense of autonomy, which will eventually lead to sleeping over at a friend’s house or going to an overnight summer camp (activities that tend to happen often during summer months).
In the long run, mastery and autonomy will create resilience and the increased ability to cope with unpredictable events (e.g. a friend moving away, a parent leaving on an unexpected business trip, a family member passing away).