According to a survey from activity app Hoop, one in four parents suffers from ‘FOSH’ – fear of the summer holidays. And with increasing numbers of families relying on two, full-time incomes, it’s no wonder that the expense – and sheer logistics – of the summer holidays strike dread into parents’ hearts.
So this month, we’re sharing our top ten tips for surviving the summer, stress free. From establishing ground rules to avoiding ‘summer slide’, we’ll help you rediscover the joy of summertime.
- Put a plan in place – make sure you set expectations early on. By keeping to an agreed routine, where everyone understands their responsibilities, you can avoid family flare-ups.
- Build your support network – whether that’s grandparents and extended family, or other parents juggling childcare and work, find a support team that can share the load.
- Get some sleep – it’s been a busy year, and there’s nothing wrong with letting your children catch up on some much-needed rest. But stick to a regular routine, and try not to let them indulge in disruptive, late-night screen-time.
- Manage the money – seeing their friends’ exploits on social media can make children more demanding when it comes to summer activities. Use this as an opportunity to develop their money management skills, with a set allowance that they can spend as they choose.
- Avoid summer slide – research suggests that a lack of academic stimulation over the holiday causes a dip in ability come September. Just 30 minutes a day of learning – whether with a tutor or self-regulated – can help keep children on track.
- Break out the books – to help children re-discover the joy of the written word, consider starting a family book club. Or set aside time for everyone to read together. Not only will this limit their digital dependence, it will keep their literacy skills up to scratch for September.
- Give them a purpose – whether through volunteering for a charity, gaining some work experience or earning extra cash for chores around the house, it’s particularly important to give older children a focus for the summer.
- Start something new – from languages to music, science to technology, there are a wealth of summer camps, classes, online courses or one-to-one sessions out there, so encourage your children to try something unexpected.
- Make time for the family – if you’re working full time, talk to your employer about flexible working patterns, or unpaid parental leave. Even if you can only manage the odd long weekend away, it’s important to spend time together as a family.
- Make time for yourself – with activity-packed schedules and the pressure to keep children entertained, it’s easy to forget that you need some time off too. Go for a walk, meet a friend or take an evening class to decompress from the long summer days.
For more help making the summer holidays a time of fun and learning, get in touch with the team.