With summer vacation here, how do you choose the right programs or activities for your kids?
Sometimes it’s clear, sometimes it’s not. Lots of agendas are involved when schedules and locations are important in choosing activities year-round.
When choosing activities, consider:
- This is for your child, not you. Of course it must work for you, but try not to project what you loved as a kid, or what you wish you had gotten to do.
- Do not sign your child up for something you think she will like and then inform her what she will be doing.
- Make suggestions but not directions. “What about…? If I were you, I would love that – but that’s me.”
- Go over general categories—day or sleep away camp, sports programs, theater programs, horse camps, art or music programs, etc. Then include your child (if old enough) in some of the research. The more your child is involved, the more engaged he will be and the less you will be blamed if it doesn’t work out.
- Job-aged kids need your help and support during the job search, but not your leg-work. Acknowledge the difficulty, share your experiences, be open to hear the griping, offer suggestions, but do not do the work.
Many children change their minds, and fears arise about quitting and teaching commitment. This is not limited to summer activities. What do you do when money has been spent? Or children who begged for a program dig in their heals and refuse to go after a couple of sessions? Others start off resisting but with gentle prodding find that once involved they love it.