Encourage your children to try both team activities (such as chess club or sports) and individual activities (such as music lessons, swimming, or art).
Find challenging and stimulating summer service projects for kids. Many congregations offer mission projects where kids take a trip to help others, doing things like painting, repairing homes, and so on. Habitat for Humanity allows kids who are ages 13 and up to volunteer.
Make sure that childcare settings provide a warm, nurturing environment, with age-appropriate toys and equipment. If you have any concerns, talk with the director or supervisor.
Point out to your children that in any situation not making a choice is making a choice—it’s choosing not to choose. Explain how this gives someone else the power to determine what happens next.
Teach your child to take all aspects of school seriously. That includes learning in the classroom and taking tests.
Have fun while you learn something new together this summer! Sign up for a family activity through your parks and recreation department, community education program, or nature center.
Never punish your child by cutting out activities in order for them to do better academically. Kids need to work hard at school, and they also need high-quality activities to grow up well.
Realize that in order to learn from mistakes, children have to make mistakes. Don’t blow up when they make a poor choice, but also don’t rescue them from natural consequences.
When setting boundaries, focus on what you expect rather than what you don’t want. It’s a simple switch from saying that you don’t want homework left until the last minute, to explaining that you expect it to be completed before your kids move on to other activities.
Start a “thought sharing” tradition. At a meal, bedtime, or another time when there are few distractions, get in the habit of sharing one thing about your day, something interesting you each thought of, a hope or a dream, or another open-ended topic.
When helping your children learn new skills, use corrective directions rather than telling them what they are doing wrong. There is a big difference between, “No, not like that,” and “Okay, now let’s try it this way,” followed by a demonstration.
Try to create a family atmosphere that’s open and honest. This starts with you, as the parent, setting an example of honesty for your kids.
This Mother’s Day, take time to write and reflect, separately or together, on the past year or the year to come. Share your letters now or put them away to read next year.
Be clear about your family expectations. Examples could include working hard even at tasks you don’t like, returning a lost object to its rightful owner, being friendly to others, and doing family chores.
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Make an effort to learn things about your children’s teachers or caregivers. Ask about their interests, hobbies, or families.
Get involved in youth activities that you’re passionate about (such as soccer or playing an instrument). Young people need passionate adults who can get to know them and talk about subjects that matter to them.
Attend open houses, conferences, and other school events whenever possible. In addition to talking about your child’s progress, make it a point to also have casual, friendly conversations with teachers.
This Mother’s Day, tell family stories. What stories do you remember about your mother? Your mother’s mother? Celebrate mothers going as far back as you can find.
Did you know it’s Teacher Appreciation Week? Tell teachers specific things you appreciate about them—the way they greet children in the morning, certain activities they’ve planned, or the way they engage their students.
Notice how often you’re rushing to deal with your child’s last-minute demands. If it’s happening all the time, it’s important to teach your child skills on how to manage her time and priorities.