To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. - Barbara Johnson
Everyday experiences provide children with opportunities to develop understandings of their world, relationships with others, and confidence within themselves as contributing members of a community. Your perspective on how you view your child, his potential, and his thinking greatly impacts your child’s ability to learn from the experiences you provide. Use these prompts to assess the value of plans being made for your summer together:
- Can I be fully present with my child?
- Does the experience provide choice for my child?
- Will his heart and mind be engaged?
- Is this for me or my child?
- How much fun will we have?
- Are we restricted by time or resources that will cause frustration for anyone involved?
- What memory will my child have of this time?
Summer days with children pass so very quickly. Take time to simply…Laugh. Play. Snuggle.
Be physically present. In today’s world, both parents often work to support the family. In this case, parents will need to be creative in making time to be with their children after work hours and on the weekends. Make being present with your child important so that he or she feels valued by you. Make one-on-one time. If you have multiple children, spending time with each child individually supports the development of each child’s unique identity. Enjoy your unique individuals as they grow in personality, preferences, and potential.
Put the phones away. In some perspectives, technology today has become a necessary evil. We not only use it to communicate but also to manage finances, arrange transportation, and conduct daily business. Discipline yourself so that phones and tablets are silenced for a certain period of time everyday so that your undivided attention can be given to your family.
Be intentional. The summer will pass by too quickly, and, before you know it, August will be calling your child back to school. Take time to intentionally plan evenings, days, weekends, and weeks full of TIME with your family.
Chill! Take a minute to assess the stress level of the moment and adjust as necessary. Children are perceptive; your stress pours over into their lives no matter how hard you try to prevent this. So if you feel yourself starting to stress, just breathe, cherish the moment and share love.
Article submitted Concordia Shanghai Early Childhood Teacher Emily Hays