Summer break is a great time for all things relaxation, family time, travel and simply taking a break. Your family’s normal routines might experience disruption, and while summer is a natural time to deviate from the structure of the school year, it’s important to maintain some normalcy in your week. Providing a balanced routine for your child(ren) that combines free time with structured activities can play a vital role in maintaining mental health and overall well-being. Some examples of ways to add structure to your child’s schedule are having constant wake-up and bedtimes, regular mealtimes, having certain days for certain activities (i.e., Tuesdays are arts and crafts days), setting aside time to be outside, keeping regular appointments and/or lessons, or planning an hour each day to read a book.
Here are four reasons that structure can benefit your child:
- Stability and Predictability
It can be difficult for your child to disrupt the routines they are used to and by maintaining a semblance of structure throughout their summer break, they experience a sense of safety and familiarity. Routines provide a familiar space where your child understands what to expect in their day. Furthermore, when the school year starts back, your child will know what to expect as they ease back into their normal school routines from their summer schedules.
- Promote Independence
Consistent and predictable routines allow children to understand what is expected of them and develop a sense of accomplishment over their daily activities. With structure, children learn to manage their time, prioritize tasks, and take ownership of their responsibilities. By establishing healthy routines, even through the summer, your child is set up to grow in their independence.
- Sense of Purpose and Achievement
When a child can see their own personal progress and growth through their specific routines, they develop a positive mindset and feel encouraged to continue striving for success in various areas of their life. Through engagement in regular activities such as attending a summer camp, hobbies, creating something, or reading a book, they develop a sense of accomplishment when their goals are achieved.
- Learning and Developing Healthy Habits
When specific activities such as regular mealtimes, set wake-up and bedtimes, brushing teeth, or playing outside are incorporated throughout summer, they become ingrained in a child’s life as habitual behavior. When children continually repeat these actions, they learn the importance of maintaining healthy habits as they come to feel natural and effortless.
Have a great summer and let’s create an environment for our children that promotes growth, stability, and fun!