How To Help Your Child Have A Safe, Impactful Summer

Most kids look forward to summer all year long, but when it finally arrives it often brings boredom, which can lead to behavioral problems. It’s important to talk to your kids about making a plan for the summer because as much as they may want to lie around and relax, it can be very helpful to have some sort of structure.

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Summer break can be fun and relaxing, but it can also be educational and give a child the chance to explore new things like storm spotting and test their limits in positive ways. For instance, if you’re involved in church, find out if any programs are going on during the summer months that would allow your child the chance to help others and make a difference. You can also check out organizations such as Habitat For Humanity, which would give your child the opportunity to give back to a family in need and build upon their work ethic.

Here, Book Review Rooms presents a few of the best ways to help your child have a safe, fun experience this summer.

Use Their Interests to Find Activities

Instead of lounging in front of the television this summer, your child could be engaging in an educational experience that’s fun at the same time. Think about their interests and look online to see what activities might be near you, such as museums, open archaeology digs, music camps, art workshops, and science centers. Often, these places will offer special programs during the summer that can keep your child engaged and open to new experiences. Plus, having a hobby that takes a lot of time to practice and perform can keep a young person busy—and therefore safe—while they’re out of school.

One great hobby to encourage is reading. Developing a love of reading in childhood can provide your child with a lifelong source of entertainment and knowledge. A trip to the local library can yield dozens of books and dozens of adventures. If you’re looking for appropriate books for your child, explore the Choices reading lists from the International Literacy Association.

Reading is a great activity to do separately and as a family. Check out Book Review Rooms to discover new books for everyone in your home!

Designate a Kids Only Zone

There was something special about the freedom to roam the neighborhood that most kids of the 70s and 80s had during the summer. While you may not be comfortable with your kids wandering the neighborhood unsupervised, you can create special kids-only zones in your home or yard where the kids can escape and be themselves alone, together with siblings, or with friends.

Make a reading and play zone in their rooms where they can go unsupervised, or build a small designated area in the backyard. It doesn’t have to be a fancy treehouse. Just a small picket fence or some pallets used to block the area off from view. Make it official with some paint and one of these appealing bronze plaques with a name the kids choose. This area will keep the kids busy, entertained, and out of your hair while giving them valuable memories that will last a lifetime.

Volunteer as a Family

Find a worthy cause that your child can volunteer their time to and join him or her if possible. Your local library may have a summer program that allows kids to read to service dogs, or you might help a senior citizen plant and tend a garden. Many animal shelters sponsor literacy-animal socialization programs which can be fun and confidence-building for children. Showing your child what it’s like to help others and getting involved in your community can help them grow to be more empathetic and can boost their leadership skills, as well.

Talk to Kids about Internet Safety

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If your child is between the ages of four and eighteen, he’s probably been online at some point, whether it’s through a social media app or just a game he plays on your tablet or phone. It’s imperative to talk to your child about Internet safety and how to make privacy a priority, no matter their age or gender.

Sit down and talk about never giving a stranger personal information online, never sending photos of themselves to anyone (even if they know the person), and what to do if a stranger ever contacts them through an app or game. For younger kids, look at the apps together so you have a clear idea of how they work. Some games for tablets and phones are interactive and in real-time, giving strangers potential access to your child through a screen name.

In addition, be sure that you’ve implemented cybersecurity practices on your home’s computers and network. This includes having antivirus software, staying current with computer updates, and regularly backing up your files. These practices will help ensure that your computers are not lost to malicious activity.

Teach Your Child about Business

Becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t have to wait until your child is grown-up; teach him or her about how to run a business by helping them build a lemonade stand, or assist your kids in setting up an Etsy account to sell handmade jewelry. Once they start making sales, they’ll likely take an active interest in growing the business and taking charge. Learning about making money, and committing to the tasks required are valuable lessons.

Be Open with Your Kids about Dangerous Behaviors

It’s also important to learn about the warning signs of a child who has fallen into some bad behaviors. Even the most well-intentioned kid can sometimes go astray when they spend time with people their age who have bad habits. If your child is experiencing changes in sleeping or eating habits, is getting into trouble at school all of a sudden, or you suspect they’ve taken medicine or alcohol from your home, sit down and have a talk with them about what’s going on in their life. It’s always a good idea to know who your child spends time with, where they go when they aren’t in school, and what’s been happening in their relationships.

Find Your Balance this Summer

As summer approaches, many parents are left grappling with the best way to ensure their kids have a safe and enjoyable summer break. With so much unscheduled time on their hands, it can be easy for young ones to get into mischief or find themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Luckily, there are several easy steps parents can take to keep their children safe and entertained throughout the summer months. From setting boundaries and establishing a solid routine to seeking out age-appropriate activities and engaging in open communication, there are plenty of resources available to help parents ensure that their kids have a memorable and safe summer.

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