Best Way To Survive Outings with Kids this Summer

It’s summer break and you want to be able to enjoy your children, I see so many parents counting down to the time school starts. Then when school starts, they count down to summer because the school schedule is a pain sometimes. It seems many parents are always counting down to the next whatever – be it summer or school. Stop. Enjoy the time you have with your kids, whether they are being totally awesome and getting along or having a case of sibling rivalry ALL DAY LONG, enjoy those moments. Time flies too quickly to not cherish every moment, yes even those patience testing times.

Here is how I survive summer (and other times of the year) with my three, very different children:

how to survive Summer outings with children

Always be proactive – you know how your kids work and what makes them tick. Planning ahead for things that will entertain them, allows the long drive to be more tolerable. For me, the middle child enjoys electronics as a means to keep himself occupied during a long trip, so I charge up the Nabi Tablet and encourage it being shut off when he’s not using it (as I don’t have a car charger for it at this time). For the other two, they bring along some small toys, coloring book and crayons or paper to play tic tac toe. Plan to have everything packed up and ready the night before to ensure you don’t forget anything!

Set Expectations – Let your kids know what you expect of them. If they are not acting properly in the car, I don’t care where you are, pull over and stop that vehicle. Do not yell and scream and get all stressed out because your children are not behaving, sure I get it, stopping and pulling over will make the trip take longer, but it’s worth it to teach the children that you will stop if they don’t behave properly in the car. Also let them know what you expect of them at the outing, such as not running off, staying a certain distance when walking with you, etc. One thing I do with my youngest, who is a bowl full of energy, is that he can run ahead a bit til I say STOP. He must stop when I say stop and not go again til I yell GO. This keeps him from having to restrain his energy, but also keeps him at a safe distance. If he doesn’t listen, I make him hold my hand, this involves him screaming, yelling and being pretty mad, but he learns that is the consequence and I don’t care if people “stare” at us, I am being the Mom.

Have Fun and Be Happy – Seriously, it’s as simple as that. Sure it can be stressful and overwhelming to be at a packed beach or facility, with kids, but get over it! If you set the expectations ahead of time, follow through with a matter-of-fact consequence things get easier. Do not allow yourself to think “well this kid knows better” or get all grumpy because your child isn’t listening. Kids will be kids. They will test limits; they will see what they can pull off, especially being out in public. Let your child know they have a consequence but have fun, don’t get all tense over having to “deal with your child”, it is going to happen, children will make the same mistake over and over sometimes too, it’s all about teaching them how to not keep making the same mistake. Get down at their level, have fun, be silly and let loose. Just because you are laughing, having fun and letting loose doesn’t mean your child won’t respect you as a parent, they actually will learn to listen to you more because they will trust you are able to get down on their level and enjoy this Summer outing.

I am sure I could go on and on with more tips, but these three have been the best for myself, what are your extra tips you may have that work for your family? Do share in a comment below…

 

Constant Chatter

Your child chatters constantly.  S/he tells you his/her every thought and feeling.  S/he tells you stories.  S/he tells you about the thoughts, feelings, and stories of his/her little classmates.  And s/he asks endless questions.  Is it normal for a child to talk this much?  Should you do something about it?  Read on for more information.

First, you should know that some children can grow out of the need to chatter constantly.  Parents are tasked with helping their children mature and understand the rules regarding socially accepted behavior (hereinafter referred to as boundaries).  When your child exhibits a behavior that runs counter to a boundary, it is up to you to educate your child on where that boundary rests and how important it is to behave within the proscribed boundaries.  For example, if you and your spouse are trying to have a conversation but your child keeps interrupting and speaking ever louder all the while, it is up to you to take a moment to explain that, unless there is something truly urgent happening (i.e., your child wants to alert you to the small kitchen fire occurring just outside your range of vision), then s/he needs to wait his/her turn in the conversation.  You can speak to your child about how important it is to let people feel heard, each in turn.  You may help your child recall an experience in which s/he felt unheard by being interrupted.  You should conclude with a few sentences about how important it is for all people to be able to establish and maintain healthy relationships with others.

While you are imparting the above lesson (and, yes, you will need to impart it on multiple occasions), you can institute “quiet times”.  These designated periods of silence can be wonderfully peaceful for parents of chatterboxes.  Also, they are excellent opportunities to observe if your child is capable of maintaining silence for the designated length of time.

If you have repeatedly shared this learning opportunity with your child . . . all for naught . . . then it may be time for further inquiry.  Ask your child what makes him/her speak as s/he does.  Is something bothering him/her?  Is s/he feeling insecure?  Is s/he very bright and feeling frustrated that the rest of the world can’t keep up with him/her?   Is s/he lonely?   Could your child have ADHD?  If you cannot get to the root of the issue in parent-child conversation, then perhaps it is time to have your child visit with a child psychologist.

You want the best for your child:  good friends, a quality education, and a happy and healthy life.  You do not want people to flee from your child because of the incessant chatter, nor do you want your child to struggle academically (even though s/he may be very bright) because of chatter-related difficulties.  By identifying the problematic behavior and responding to it promptly as detailed above, you can take the steps necessary to help your little chatterbox mature, understand social boundaries, cultivate friends, and succeed in school.

About the Author:

Candi Wingate is an expert in the child care industry with over 20 years experience. She is the founder of Nannies4Hire.com and Care4Hire.com, and author of 100 Tips for Nannies & Families and The Nanny Factor: A Parent’s Guide to Finding the Right Nanny for Your Family”  and a mother of two. Connect on Twitter and Facebook with Candi.

Come Hide With Me

I have an eight, two and four year old. The younger two are boys, the oldest is a girl and has wonderful leadership skills. My four year old is a bit of everything and has come a long way with his aggressive behavior but for the most part he is fairly independent. My two year old will do whatever the four and eight year old ask him to do or say about 99% of the time, it’s rather amusing!

On this fine Easter Sunday my daughter wanted Baby K to hide with her… she was hiding from my camera …

But wait, they are hiding in a bush with no leaves?! They assume Mommy can not see them but Mommy has a camera and Mommy did catch them…

Can you see my children?

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