Summertime

It’s summertiime, and, hopefully, your “livin’ is easy.”  Like most parents, I bet, you strive to find activities to fill your child’s time and enrich their lives–sports training, Bible study, camp, vacations.  Please allow me to share 2 thoughts.

First, don’t overdo.  There are clear advantages in children having free form, unstructured time.  Lying in the grass and looking at the sky to imagine what shapes they see in the clouds above is beneficial and fun.   Adult supervision of this tiime should be modified to allow for maximum freedom within your judgment of your child’s age and temperment appropriate safety needs.  Sometimes try and let them “just be” with their friends.  It is not so good to have every minute of every day of your child’s summer planned out by you.

Conversely, when planning your child’s summer schedule be sure to include a very generous portion of yourself. Summertime is such a great time to reconnect with your children after the busy school year.  Now that my own kids are grown so many of my happiest memories are of our summers together–biking and swimming, basketball with my boys and jogging with my daughter, camp family days and plays, vacations.

Family fun need not be expensive:

  • Family meals together. Outdoor barbecues are great.  Most township parks have great picnic areas with barbecue pits for family enjoyment.  Don’t forget to include lots of fresh healthy summer fruits and vegetables in your child’s meals.
  • While you’re at it, how about planting a family vegetable garden so you can grow the food together?
  • Read together.  Check out Ocean County Library for acitivities for every age group.
  • Lots of free fun at Ocean County Parks.  Check out Ocean County Carousel of Music for a schedule of free outdoor concerts throughout the summer.
  • Play sports together–take family walks and bike rides(everybody with a helmet!!), shoot baskets or play tennis at public courts, throw footballs/baseballs and “shag flies” together at neighborhood ball fields.  You don’t need to be in a league and you don’t even need to be any good.  You just need to be there.
  • Water sports–pools are nice but not necessary.  Area seasonal beach passes are still very modestly priced.  You can even just use the garden hose–lots of inexpensive toys can make this even more fun for you and your kids.

Remember your time and positive attention is the best gift you can give, the best salve for their ills and the best method to instill good discipline and promote positive behaviors.  Everything else that I may do with you about those things is secondary.

Lastly, summer is a great time to schedule your child’s yearly physical and catch up on needed immunizations.  Give me a call and we can set that up.  Send along questions or comments, and thanks for following.

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