A Few Tips for Avoiding Summer Meltdowns
We all want to avoid summer meltdowns, don’t we?! Of course we do. We know that the change from the structure of school having specific things to do at specific times all day helps … but boy oh boy … it’s summer again and we have to figure out how to make this summer better than the last.
Here are a few tips to try for avoiding meltdowns, knowing of course that you all have tried some or most of them already. But hey, maybe, just maybe … this year will be different.
Create a Daily Schedule
Yeah, I know. We all know that this is supposed to help. Yet, who can keep the rigidity of the schedule that we have during the school year? Well, the trick is to create a schedule AROUND telling them what is going on with the schedule … vs. the rigidity of the schedule being the same each day.
Let me explain. Each night before bed, you do a schedule review for the next day. Then in the morning, you do another schedule review for the day. The actual schedule is just the habit of reviewing the start and end with them – not necessarily having the same things going on each day. This is essential in avoiding meltdowns. Make sense?
Pick a Goal – Any Goal
It is hard to become the full-time summer school teacher in addition to being the full time parent. So, don’t try to boil the ocean and teach your kid Mandarin over the summer (unless of course that is the goal!). Instead, pick one or two goals that you really want to focus on and whatever activities and things you do over the summer, try to make them relate to the goal.
What? Okay, okay. Let’s discuss. If you want to help your kiddo work on gross motor skills, then you can make that the goal of the summer. So now when you are thinking of things to do, you might be more likely to create a obstacle course in the yard or make laundry basketball a thing vs. trying to work on writing all summer. See what I mean? Stick to one goal!
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Keep in mind that natural environmental activities teach as much as an artificial, set-up learning environment. If you want to do a laundry basket challenge you can, but that also means you can work on using verbs for things like toss or throw. Every activity can be turned into a small way to work on language skills too.
Consider the Senses
Yes, I know. We have to deal with sensory overload all the time. But, maybe try to look at it from a different point of view. Can you use sight, touch, taste, smell, or sound in a new way that can help with desensitizing that sense? If they don’t really like to touch icky things, but they love to write their name – maybe you put shaving cream all over the table and tell them they can write their name, but in the shaving cream. Now you might have created a fun time and they get to practice all kinds of skills.
Overall, try to have fun. That is what summer is about after all. It is easy to get caught up in all the things that need to get done and all the things that are not done – but a little creativity can go a long way. And heck, at least then you get a new kind of meltdown? Okay, maybe not.
Good luck on your summer vacation! Let us know some of the things you are doing this summer for avoiding meltdowns. We all want to know! Really… we do!
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