Summer is a time for rest and relaxation, right? School’s out and the sense of relief is palpable — no blaring alarm clocks, and no rushing off to school, extracurriculars and other appointments. But without the structure of school and its natural daily routines, it’s easy for life at home to fall apart. Bedtimes extend into the late hours, personal hygiene falls by the wayside, and there’s way too much screen time. Sound familiar? Read on for some tips for parents and/or caregivers to establish some routines over the lengthy holiday period.
1. Allow for a short transition period. You all deserve a break to do whatever you like. Savour the time off by lounging at home, planning short excursions around town or getting out of Bangkok for a few days.
2. Maintain morning and evening routines, especially if your children need the structure to avoid power struggles or meltdowns at the end of the day. While you can let the kids sleep in, create set times for washing up/brushing teeth, bathing, meals, reading, outdoor play, television, bedtime and any other daily activities. Older kids may benefit from having such tasks presented on a board as a checklist.
3. Come up with a loose weekly plan, with some recurring events. You could visit a park every Tuesday, have a meal at a mall every Wednesday, set movie night every Friday, go to Saturday storytelling at the Neilson Hays, etc. Again, it’s good to put this all down on a board to help manage the kids’ expectations.
4. Plan some special events such as day camps, a trip to a waterpark, a farm tour… There is no shortage of things to do in Bangkok. That way, you all have something to look forward to and different to do to spice up the summer (and avoid the doldrums!).
5. Don’t neglect your own schedule; regularly set aside time for yourself without the kids to rest, catch up on work or go out with friends.
With some routines in place, everyone knows what to expect, when to expect it, and what’s involved. Hopefully that helps to create consistency in your lives, making for a happier, healthier summer for the whole family.