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What are My Kids Doing This Summer?

The age old question; "What are My Kids Doing This Summer?" is one that a lot of parents grapple with. We know, we know it doesn't feel like it's time to talk about the summer yet. However, when you have a child who struggles with their mental health it can take some thoughtful planning to set your family up for success. Being a parent often means handling the challenges that come at you day to day but if you set aside some time this month to plan out your family's summer you will thank yourself later when every camp is booked up and every babysitter has already been hired.

Blended family discussing their children's summer plans

 

1.Get on the same page now

It is important to first determine who are the decision makers for your children. Are you coparenting with someone? Does your child have stepparents? Now is a good time to rally the whole team (the best you can) and try and get on the same page about what this summer will entail.

 

Have an open and honest conversation about your expectations, their expectations, the expectations you think your children have, and the budget for summer fun and childcare. Camps and babysitters can get very pricey so planning ahead now will help you prepare for the expenses associated with having your children out of school for a stretch of time.

 

Do you raise your children in a blended family? We know firsthand that parenting in a blended family comes with their own unique set of strengths and challenges. Click here to check out our tip sheet created by blended families, for blended families! 

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Children at a summer camp

2. Is summer camp right for your child?

Summer camps can be great opportunities for your children to stay busy, active, and meet friends outside of their normal circles. They can also teach incredible skills and give your child lifelong memories. Another thing they are is - typically very expensive and fill up fast.

 

That is why if you want your child to attend a summer camp the sooner you start looking, applying, and applying for scholarships the less headaches you'll have. This is especially important for a parent of a child who struggles with their mental health. You will want to make sure that the camp you send your child to is the right fit for them to thrive in that environment.

 

 

They really do have camps for everything from painting, to sports, to potentially even more niche topics that your child is interested in. Check out your local area for camps that align with your child's interests to get the most buy in possible!

 

If you do decide to send your child to a summer camp this year it can be really helpful to be upfront with the camp about how your child struggles and what may trigger them. We know that this information may feel like none of their business but it can help them help your child thrive at camp. 

 

 

3. Is it better to have your children at home?

Every child is different and nobody knows yours better than you do. Maybe summer camp would not be the right environment for them to have a successful summer, and they would have a better time being in their home where they are already comfortable.

 

While this may feel like the "easier" logistics options, you know as well as we do that finding childcare can be difficult for parents of children who struggle. Sometimes their struggles manifest into behavioral challenges and this can be a lot for an unseasoned babysitter.

 

One of our staff members pro tips to find childcare that works for your situation is to head to care.com and find someone who is studying to work with or works with children who have unique needs. This will help make sure that the babysitter you hired is prepared for meltdowns, outbursts, and behavioral challenges your child may experience throughout the summer.

 

4. Think outside of the box

The summer is long. It is a long stretch of time that you need to have covered and it can be very daunting to think about the logistics and the price associated with making sure your child has a good summer while staying safe.

Child and grandmother

Thinking outside of the box can be helpful for you to piece together childcare for the summer. Is there a grandparent who's local town offers a really cool day camp for a week? That way they get a week with grandma but grandma gets sometime to recuperate during the day.

 

Is there an aunt or uncle that your child likes to be around who lives somewhere cool like by a lot of nature that they can spend a week or a long weekend at?

 

Does your child have a friend who's parents you know and trust and you could do childcare swap allowing one of you to have some free time to get other things done?

 

The earlier you start planning your summer the more time you have to get creative. Now is the time to call camps, check out their websites, find a babysitter thats a good fit or talk to the adults in your child's life to see if any of them are able to be a part of your village this summer.


Answering the question; "What are my kids doing this summer?" is a tough one, but it's just one of the many challenges parents have to figure out. If you want to join a community of parents who get what it's like to raise a child who struggles with their mental health sign up here!


P.S. - It's FREE!

 

 

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