Encourage reading. Talk with your kids and listen to what they have to say about their summer reading ideas. Reading is a great habit to nurture. Most public libraries support a reading program with some sort of positive end result if all the requirements are fulfilled. You can build structure by having your teens read to your younger children or even organize an informal neighborhood book club.
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Assign chores. How about having your kids help around the house with jobs that you don't have time for during the school year – clean out broken toys or box up outgrown school clothes. Have them run small errands or go to the corner grocery store. Let them keep the change and buy themselves a treat. They might like the independence and responsibility.
Limit Internet use. You may be tempted to use technology as a babysitter, but try to institute some tech free days. When kids have unsupervised access to media, it can be at the expense of their growth. Emerging research reveals that technology can short-circuit healthy development in socializing and learning.
If you have to spend a little money on your kids' activities, it's in everyone's best interests for a safe, fun environment and your peace of mind. A week of camp can build social skills and interests as well as character strengths - and provides a structured and enriching environment so you don't have to worry about what they're up to.
Your kids have their whole summer ahead of them - no schoolwork or having to wake up early. And you deserve to kick back some too. With the long warm summer nights, relax and enjoy spending some quality family time together.
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