Parents – 10 Tips for a stress-free summer

It’s been another long year at school. Awards have been given, lessons learned and everyone is exhausted as we head into the summer holiday season. Parents can be left wondering how to entertain their children throughout the school holidays.

So here are 10 Top Tips to make the summer an enjoyable time for you and the kids.

  1. Start as you mean to go on. The children will have been settled into their school routine, getting up at a certain time and needing to go to bed at a regularly allotted slot too. It’s important to stick to a routine as much as possible. Kids need consistency, and while their bedtime may be relaxed a little over the summer, it should still offer them plenty of time to rest and recharge ready for the next days’ adventures.
  2. A healthy balance. Summer holidays are a big adventure, of endless sunshine, scraped knees and ice-cream cones. But it is also important to ensure that kids get a healthy balanced diet, especially over the summer when they’ll be expending their valuable energy running around. The easiest way to encourage kids to eat healthier is to involve them in food preparation. This could be a smoothie or fruit salad for breakfast.
  3. Plan and don’t plan. Over the holidays, there can be a temptation to cram each day full of activities and organised ‘fun.’ The best days I remember from my childhood were spontaneous. If there are events on in your local area, suitable for kids then make sure you organise everyone to take part in those activities. Equally, though, just getting out to play with their friends can be a valuable learning experience for many children.
  4. Keep a diary. Older children will enjoy writing a blog about their holidays, sharing their photographs and experiences in a safe way. Children grow up so fast, encouraging them to relish each day and enjoy their holidays are skills that will go far to ensuring they are satisfied and happy.
  5. Get out in nature. A family walk through the woods or at the beach will provide an amazing opportunity to experience nature at its best. A tree hunt is a great way to get children involved in identifying leaves and learning about their local area.
  6. Meditate. Children’s lives can be quite stressful at times, with exams, issues with friends and the demands of keeping up with clubs and hobbies. It’s important to lead by example and to encourage children to sit and find some still quiet time. There are many excellent apps and websites which offer guided meditations specifically for children.
  7. Be prepared. The best thing about summer time in Scotland is the unpredictable weather. We can spend days preparing and planning the perfect picnic, only for it to be rained-off. This is the time to improvise, why not build a den in the living room and eat your picnic there, before having a movie afternoon?
  8. Back to school. Everyone hates shopping for the back to school supplies, but it is unavoidable. Encourage your child to be as involved in this process as possible and try to plan the shopping trip to visit as few shops as necessary. Maybe even end the shopping trip with a visit to the local swimming pool.
  9. Exercise. Many local leisure centres offer discounted rates for children to visit over the holidays. But their games halls can also be hired out, for a small fee, and used for a wide variety of sports. Why not hire the space and kick a football around with the children for a bit? Or hire some badminton rackets and try to keep a volley going for a bit?
  10. Stop and just be. Sometimes it’s ok to just do nothing. All day children have demands placed on them by their families, teachers, and friends. Allowing them time to sit and watch the stars, rain or clouds pass by, can be a valuable lesson in feeling comfortable in their own company.