School is finally our for the summer and it's time for some fun in the sun! The end of the school year brings a welcome relief and well needed break from waking up at the crack of dawn, doing homework and early bedtimes -- not only for the kids but for the parents as well. I mean, let's face it, by the time summer vacation begins I am ready to break out a bottle of wine and celebrate. I can only imagine how great my boys feel when the last day of school is finally here.
So, I completely understand the temptation to let the whole school year routine take a backseat to having a super fun summer. You may consider forgetting bedtimes, chores, curfews and the regular rules of the household and let the kids just be kids and enjoy their summer. You may even think this is a pretty good idea; after all, the routine will always be there when you’re ready to go back to it, right? Now, the routine may still be there, but your sanity as well as the sanity of your children may not be there at that point. That’s why it’s so important to keep up a routine during the summer months.
Like I said earlier, we all need a break. Parents and children deserve to have a break and enjoy their time while they take that break, so I am not saying that you have to stick to the same routine that you follow during the school year. It's okay to keep the rules in place and modify them a bit. This allows you to keep the structure that you work so hard on while school is in session while still cutting you all some slack and taking time to experience the joy of a carefree summer. With some of these simple changes to your normal routine you can make it happen easier than you think.
Make bedtimes and wake up times an hour later. Have a camp out in the backyard or a movie night where you all stay up a little later and watch a favorite movie together. In the morning do the same, let them sleep in a little later than usual and then do something that you will enjoy together. It can be some time at the park, the library or something as simple as breakfast at your favorite place. The trick is to find what works for your family. Let them stay up a little later and wake up a little later but remember your limits. One hour may be just fine, but when 1 becomes 3 it can mess up the routine completely.