By Vanesa Sallego
Summer’s on its way, which means hot and sunny days and your children home from school for some summer vacation. To help make the most of this time of year and keep your children from getting bored, we’ve come up with a list of 12 fun summer activities that are fun for the whole family and affordable.
1. Family road trip
You don’t need to get on a plane or travel far to find something new and exciting to do. Besides, half the fun is getting there! Pick a destination an hour or two from home to explore and get the car games and iPod playlists ready for some quality family time in the car.
The teenage years are a dreaded time for many parents, as teens begin to rebel and dismiss their parents’ good counsel, reaching out for approval from their peers instead. But there are things that you as a parent can do to strengthen the quality of your relationship with your teen, and thus make him or her more receptive to your advice and instruction.
Perhaps the most fundamental step to getting your teenage son or daughter to trust you and listen to you is to be loving and kind to your child. If you strive to have a harmonious and respectful relationship with your child, fewer conflicts will arise. That does not mean not disciplining your child, because correcting a child when they do wrong (in a compassionate, thoughtful manner) is every bit as important as giving them your love, your attention, and providing for them.
Be aware that even though you feel you are doing your very best raising your child, sometimes your parenting strategies can be damaging to your child’s self-esteem and the parent-child relationship. Your child needs to grow up with a healthy level of self-esteem to be more resilient to the lessons learnt and the knocks taken in life. A good self-esteem enables your child in decision making, having confidence in the judgements she makes, knowing what is right and wrong and having an ability to ‘bounce back’ after a knock. Healthy self-esteem is especially important during your child’s adolescent years when the chances are she will experience peer pressure to experiment with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.
When it comes to educating children, a lot of focus is placed on practical skills like reading and math, which are undoubtedly important. But we should raise our children to be well-rounded individuals, and this involves teaching them forms of creative self-expression. While different kids have different talents-some are good at drawing, some can dance well, and some are most talented in non-artistic areas-music should be integral to every child’s life. And even if your child does not develop into a musical prodigy, it is a good idea to have cultivate familiarity with the art form.
In the early evening I would sit outside under the tree near our house and watch the birds. One day I saw a Blue Jay come and chase the other birds away if they got to close. I noticed that every time she did that, 2 little Blue Jays would fly up and eat the seeds in the feeder that was hanging in the tree. Then I noticed that she would hop from branch to branch and the little birds would follow her. This went on for a few weeks. She would look down from the branch where she was perched to check on them.
We like to think that a child’s world is all lightness and fun, but there are dark sides to the childhood experience. Especially in this age of increased expectations, rigorous study, and intense competition for educational opportunities, kids are increasingly dealing with stress in addition to all the traditional sources of bad feelings in children. Stress is no longer just a grownup problem. Kids face many of the same pressure that adults do, and they also have pressures of their own. If you think your child might be suffering from too much stress, here is what you need to know.
Pre-verbal children use crying to get what they need. After learning to talk, many children have trouble breaking this habit. In fact, some develop a rather complex system of sounds and gestures that sometimes includes crying, sometimes pouting, sometimes tantrums, and sometimes a loud, whiny voice. For parents, as much as we love our children, these behaviors can be infuriating, not to mention embarrassing when they happen in public.
There are some simple preparations that you can make in advance before embarking on a trip away with your toddler in the midst of his potty training.
To overcome the fear of the first day at nursery, playgroup or school is a big step for your child. Talking to your child about it can help them prepare and alleviate some of their fears. They will naturally be anxious of the unknown so explain and describe where they will be going and for how long they will be there. Also create some excitement about the activities they will be involved with. Ask them what they are expecting school to be like and discuss any fears they are holding on to. Reassure that they will be collected by you or another carer at the end of the day. Do not dismiss any fears that seem silly to you. Listen and talk about whatever they might be worrying about.
By: Jackie Douglas
A step-by-step guide featuring 6 practical strategies for busy families to implement successful meal planning.