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The Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer Are Here...What to Do with Our Days, Weekends & Holidays

July 1st, 2016

By Judy Scott

It is with great anticipation that both kids and parents look forward to summer.  Our school age children are anticipating weeks of sleeping in, fun and memory-making while parents anticipate  weeks of juggling schedules and keeping the kids busy , all while still trying to get them to bed on schedule while the sun tells them the party is still on much past their bedtime.

It is tough but don't relinquish basic family rules and routines: It's tempting to let children stay up later in summer, and a bit of that is OK. But remember that even a little sleep deprivation can lead to irritability and meltdowns at any time of year. Maintain basic bedtime habits, nutritious meals and snacks as routinely as possible.

Making summer memories for your family doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Try sitting down with the family and make a bucket list for summer fun.  Make sure you as a parent have done your homework before you start the conversation. Look at your budget, find out what special festivals, events are happening in your community or a community nearby. Take advantage of some our natural resources such as lakes and rivers. Remember every weekend does not have to be packed with an outing, backyard fun makes for great memories as well.

If you are traveling with children whether a short or long trip have a plan to entertain the children.  There are lots of apps for your devices but try some good old fashion fun like I spy, the Alphabet Game, make up stories, or sing some of those favorite songs.

No matter where you go on your adventure don’t forget the survival kit, you know the bug spray, sunscreen, band aids, wipes and hand sanitizer it truly can be a lifesaver.

Lastly, take care of yourself:  parents don’t need to be constant entertainment directors in the summer. It may be more helpful to express confidence in your youngster's ability to be creative and inventive — and then let them enjoy. So go ahead and schedule some activities, then get out of the way and let your youngster do what comes naturally.

Judy Scott is the Executive Director of Family Services of Central Alberta. For more information visit www.fsca.ca.

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