You love your kids, and you would do anything for them. Sure, some days they get on your nerves, and at times they seem so odd you’re not sure what happened, but you love them like crazy. You hope they know it.
They probably do know it, but while they’re on break from school, you can take extra care to make sure they do. Summer is a great season to spend quality time with your kids. If you want to make the most of summer vacation and show love to your kids, consider the following tips.
Play With Them
Your kids love playing, no matter their age. When they’re toddlers, they might enjoy playing with stuffed animals; when they’re eight, with dolls and figurines; and when they’re teens, sports or video games. No matter what your kid is into, engage in a game or two this summer. You could join each child individually for an afternoon of playing pretend, or you could get everyone involved in a scavenger hunt or round of minigolf.
Start a College Fund
Your kid might be two years old, or they might be sixteen. Either way, it’s not too early (or too late) to start a college fund. College is more expensive than ever, and every little bit will help your child achieve an education. Even if you’re only able to save a few thousand dollars per year, it could keep them from being stuck with overwhelming loans. You could start a trust fund or basic savings account to help your child prepare for their future. Look at your budget and see how much you could set aside. Make the process fun and educational by taking the opportunity to teach your child about home economics. You could even start a money-making project, like a lemonade stand, to involve your child further.
Discover Your Ancestry
It’s always enriching to know more about your roots, since a celebration of past cultures is part of our identity learning. One of the most exciting adventures for kids is finding out who their ancestors were. Maybe they’re descended from someone famous, or they have a bloodline you didn’t know existed. In truth, researching your family’s history is an activity that can be equally interesting for parents and kids. A simple DNA test can now reveal ancestry, and DNA testing in New York can also reveal parentage or grandparentage if you’re unsure at all. Your kids will probably thrive on learning stories about their ancestors.
Take Them to the Doctor
A healthy childhood starts with regular visits to the doctor. Often we think we already know what the doctor will recommend–more veggies, dinner around the table instead of by the TV, and, of course, vitamins–but your kiddo will be a lot healthier because of regular trips to a quality pediatrician who can give you an informed and personalized perspective on your child’s health. Your kids might hate their check-up, since doctors can be scary, stethoscopes can be cold, and getting shots can be the worst of all. You might want to provide a reward after the trip, like an ice cream cone or a movie night, so they know you appreciate their courage. And as they grow, eventually they’ll appreciate your commitment to their well-being.
Take Them to the Dentist
As a conscientious parent, you know doctor visits aren’t the only part of keeping your child’s body in tip-top shape. You also need to take great care of their teeth. It’s possible that a healthy smile might get them more chances in life, and it will absolutely save them pain and inconvenience. They might need braces, or just regular teeth cleanings all their life, but a dentist will be able to catch problems as they arise. A dental practice in Newark, NJ will help keep your children’s teeth healthy and risk-free.
Do a Craft Together
You might not have a crafty bone in your body, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do crafts with your kids. It’s easy to get some craft supplies together and follow the directions on YouTube or in a book. You might glue pasta on paper plates, or create an entire model train. Your kids will often thrive on any experience you do together. If you grow up making things with them, they may be crafters all their lives, and that added dose of creative and I-can-make-this-myself attitude could be an asset in their futures.
Enroll Them in Summer School
This one is certainly tough love, but if your child is struggling in any school subject, you should use the summer to help them catch up. Their poor grades might be apathy only, but one summer of summer school will probably mean they’ll never be apathetic again. You could hire a tutor to help them with math or grammar, or enroll them in classes at their school. Summer school isn’t most kids’ idea of fun, but falling behind in a subject will be worse in the long run.
Have a Few Movie Nights
Your kids will remember the quality time you spend as a family, and while it can be hard to arrange family time every week, a few summer movie nights are easy to schedule. They require less stress and planning on your part than sleepovers or playdates, and everybody gets to hang out together. Really, your hardest task will be picking a movie everyone can enjoy. You and your kids can get popcorn and snacks together, and then pile in around a makeshift home movie theater.
Take a Trip Together
Someday, family vacations may be among your child’s most treasured memories. Family trips can have a lasting impact on their happiness, so try to take a vacation every summer. You might only be able to afford a weekend of camping, but any family vacation will be the highlight of your children’s summer. You could go hiking in the Badlands, visit Hannibal, Missouri, tour New York, or go to Disney World.
This one isn’t limited to summer vacation, and it’s one of the easiest ways to show your kids you care. Make room for them to talk to you, and just listen. You might want to give them advice, or even point out where they’re wrong, but the best gift you can give your kids is an attentive ear. Simply show empathy, thank them for sharing, and tell them you’re there for them. If your kids trust you, they’ll be more likely to share their stories as they get older.