Summer is finally here! The chaos of school is almost over, the weather is perfect “perfect for me at least”. Now, what do we do? Summer is a great time to spend time as a family. Let’s talk about 5 useful tips for you to practice at home with your kids

Quality Time:
Quality time represents being fully in the moment. I don’t mean going out and spending a lot of money or going on a fancy vacation. It means devoting our full attention to playing, talking, and getting to know each other. It means to bring out our inner child or a time free of “consejos” (advice). It means focusing on learning and listening to what our kids have to tell us. Quality time as a family allows us to foster love and connection. What if I’m a dad, mom or guardian who works long hours outside the home? I am glad you asked 😊. The beauty of quality is that small amounts make a BIG difference.

Activities together
The most memorable moments tend to be small yet special moments that we share with our loved one. It can include activities such as reading a book together, preparing a meal, going out for a walk, going to the park, or starting a garden at home. Summer is a great time to start a small tradition as a “familia” such as Friday movies, or a little mystery outing on the weekend.

Let’s be real…the transition from school to summer break can be difficult for some children. The lack of structure during the summer can lead to irritability or behavioral challenges. Even though they are no longer in school, it is important to still have some sense of routine. What can we do to maintain some routine? Having an idea of what the summer days are going to look like can help. For instance, having a specific bed and wake-up time or incorporating daily reading in a fun way. It might be discussing how they can help around the house: washing dishes, taking the trash out, walking the dog-you get the point!

Although it might seem contradictory, having both structure and flexibility is important. Within the structures it is also important to include “tiempo libre”(free time). It will allow them to have expectations while also giving your kids the rest that they need and deserve.

Manage your stress
Research has long shown that emotions are contagious. Many times, we as adults end up mirroring our child’s emotions and this causes the adults to also become dysregulated. Part of teaching our little ones (and not so little ones) how to regulate their emotions is that we develop this skill ourselves. Even with preparation and planning, you may see a regression and worsening of your children’s behavior when summer vacation begins. Give yourself a break for not being able to magically avoid those difficulties. Be prepared to remain calm, firm and consistent. Maintaining your calm will allow you to help your child’s brain to calm down so that you can communicate effectively.

This article was created by one of our therapists

Facelys Silvestre, Outpatient Therapist, LCSWA

Facelys grew up in the Dominican Republic and relocated to the U.S at the age of 16. She received her Bachelors in Psychology from SUNY University at Albany and her Master of Social Work from Walden University. Facelys has worked for over a decade serving the Latinx community in various capacities in Wake and Durham County, NC. She enjoys providing psychotherapy services to adults and children to support them as they navigate and cope with challenges in their lives. She is passionate about helping her clients overcome the cycles of intergenerational trauma. In her free time, Facelys enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.