Making the Most of Summer Vacation

Summer vacation is right around the corner! As teachers wrap up lessons and look forward to their own break, parents prepare for more free time for their kids. And while summer vacation is an exciting time for your family to connect, it can also bring with it some stress, due to the lack of structure in your child’s days.

teenagers dance on top of mountain

Some parents solve this problem by filling up their child’s schedules with every camp, every lesson and family vacations. Some parents use the idle time to let their kids rest. At Decade2Connect, we believe there’s a balance. Summer is both a great time for your kid’s to try new things while also being given time to just chill! So how can you find balance during summer break?

Plan a “Flexible” Structured Schedule

mom and daughter write on wall calendar

Structure and flexibility may seem oxymoronic but during the summer, balancing both will be your saving grace. For your peace of mind, schedules are extremely helpful. Within those schedules, however, be sure to include some “free time.” This solidifies expectations while also giving your kids rest.

You know best what your kids need; and this is why communication is so important. Sit with your family to create a schedule together. Ask for your kid’s input on what they want to do with their days and make sure there’s time for it. A schedule will accommodate everyone’s needs with limits. For example, if your kids want to play video games, you can give them some time for this without risking their entire day being spent in front of a screen. An example of a “daily schedule” could look like this: 

8AM Eat breakfast, get dressed for the day

10AM Summer Camp

12PM Lunch

1PM Chill time: rest, reading, screen time 

2PM Get outside, invite a friend over, etc.

5PM Dinner time with family 

6PM Family game night

7PM Chill time

Create Fun Traditions

Within a schedule, summer’s a great time to add some “special treats.” Summer isn’t just a time where we wait around waiting for school to start; including some special traditions will not only create opportunities for bonding but will give your kids something to look forward to. Some examples of this could include:

  • Friday night takeout and movie night with the family
  • Weekly slumber parties with your kid’s closest friends
  • A later bedtime than usual
  • A mystery outing on the weekends
two young girls playing in ocean

Find New Activities

As summer approaches, ask your child what activities they’d like to participate in during the summer. Maybe they’re interested in trying a new activity or sport, or spending more time with something they’re passionate about; these days, there’s a camp for everything! Having a consistent activity to engage in will maintain their connection with the world around them, all while continuing to foster their development in an engaging way.

Plan a Family Vacation

Finally, let summer be something the whole family can look forward to! Family vacations are so important in fostering connection with one another. Make sure you and your spouse take time off work for extended time as a family. Adventure, fun and play really are catalysts for connection and simply having fun together will strengthen your family’s foundation and create memories that will last a lifetime.

kids playing in the sand

Planning your summer with intention and creativity can transform it into a time of joy, growth, and togetherness for your family. By balancing structured activities with unstructured playtime, you can create a summer that is both enriching and relaxing. And while incorporating these tips for structure is important, summer is a time to practice flexibility! Hold loosely any plans as you and your child practice grace towards one another. Feel free to contact a member of Decade2Connect today if your child needs support throughout the summer.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!