Soon our kids will be out of school and summer will be upon us. What will occupy our kid’s time? Will they watch You Tube, be engrossed on social media, or game the summer away? These of course are the options they will likely migrate to, if left to their own devices. This is a dilemma I face as a father every summer, given that my office is in a 25 x 25 room at our home and my wife is in town.
I have found that planning for the summer with your kids and empowering them to make some key decisions can make a big difference. For younger kids there are day camps like the one my daughter Jennifer worked for the last two years, called Game-Time. Involving them in discussions around the need for these programs and what they will do for the summer is an important part of developing adults. Talk to them about the factors around the decisions, this will help them develop evaluation and decision making skills. Often kids just need the transparency and information to develop understanding, a sense of responsibility and purpose in the plan for their summer to make things go much smoother.
As we evaluate summer, it is important to determine what our objectives are with our kids and the summer. Is our goal to keep them busy, occupied and possibly to wear them out…smile. This makes sense, but can summer be used more strategically? We could use summer to shift gears from raising a child to developing an adult? Deedee and I shifted our objective to raising adults rather than children, as a result of my research 12 years ago. It has resulted in better relationships and kids that do exceedingly well in the transition to college and life on their own.
In my research, the kids that did the best understood themselves, had confidence and knew their strengths, which helped them build a vision for their future. This confidence and vision is what kept them motivated in boring classes and motivated them to stay on track. This led to more success than for kids who did not know where they were headed.
We can use summer to move our kids towards understanding themselves and building self-reliance, responsibility and confidence in their decision making abilities, which sets them up to be successful in life.
How can we help our kids leverage summer? You will find out in the next blog “Leveraging Summer to Develop Our Kids Sense of Purpose and Responsibility”
If you are wanting to learn more on how to be there for your kids, visit our website to watch our FREE WEBINAR.