I love the summer, but with it comes fights about drinking water and putting on sunscreen. The kids are bored and travel is a nightmare. Help me make this summer less stressful!
Summer fun is great but YES it does come with some stress. Here is how to chill out this summer.
Get the sunscreen on and make them drink water
Kids go and go and don’t understand how important sunscreen and water are in the summer. They don’t know that putting up a fight puts them in danger. Get kids excited about the process by getting them involved. Have your kids decorate their own water bottles to get them more pumped to drink. Whether plastic or metal, have kids get creative. Permanent markers, paint markers, stickers, gems; let the imagination go wild.
Be clear with your kids before heading out that water and sunscreen breaks will happen during the day. If your child refuses sunscreen or water, they will have to take a break from playing because it is not safe for them to continue in the sun without sunscreen and water. Yes they WILL get upset, but only the first time. Kids want to play, so they will drink and put that sunscreen on.
Limit the “I’m bored”s
You do NOT have to be your kids’ cruise director. When we were kids we just played; we figured it out on our own. Having to cure boredom on their own creates kids who can discover, problem solve and think outside of the box.
Talk to your kids and have them create a list of their favorite go-to activities. When your toddler comes to you, read from her list or have an older sibling do so. They can also make a “Bored Box”, “Fun Finds”, “Creative Crate” – or your family can name it whatever they like. Have your kids put their choices of favorite games, toys, and craft projects in there. When they come to you, direct them to their crate to find the next moment of fun.
De-stress your travels
Travel can be very stressful with kids. There is so much to bring, remember and deal with in a small space. Let your kids know that you will give them time checks. “We are 2 hours away.” “We will be there in 30 minutes.” Even kids who don’t understand time will like the check-ins and this will decrease the “ARE WE THERE YET???”
Have your kids stuff backpacks with travel fun, such as books, crayons and paper, small toys, portable games, and some snacks and drinks. Giving them the responsibility to find their own fun is empowering and makes it hard for them to say that they have nothing to do since THEY chose the fun to bring. Kids don’t really like to admit that they are wrong, so they will have a hard time saying that they have nothing to do.
Have a great summer and add your summer tips to the comments below.
Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.
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