School’s out and your kids have the remaining summer days to get out and spend some time in the warm weather. If you’re a parent of an older child, you probably have a love/hate relationship with this wonderful/worry-inducing thing called summer break.
While it’s great to watch your kids enjoy the end of school-year break they’ve worked hard for, there’s a great deal of anxiety that surrounds their freedom to roam while you’re stuck at the office. Sure they have their cell-phones handy and a group of friends by their sides, but how can you really be sure they’re safe during their time spent home alone?
The truth is, there’s no way to track your child’s activity all-day every day during this break. You can, however, take note of the following tips to increase their safety and ease your worry this season. So let’s get started! Here are your 8 summer break survival tips:
- Team up with other adults
Establishing relationships with other adults in your community can help you secure a trusted safety net should things go wrong while you’re away. Work with neighbors, friends, and other parents at your child’s school to create a mutually beneficial plan for carpools and activity planning. Chances are, some (if not most) of the parents, neighbors, and friends in your safety net will have schedules that differ from yours. This means that you can help them out by offering rides and supervision while they’re away, and vice versa.
- Encourage openness and honesty
Yes, this concept is pretty obvious. What’s not so obvious? Getting it right. In an ideal world, your child would feel comfortable telling you anything, regardless of the circumstances. In reality however, your child will be afraid to reach out to you in times of need if you’ve set a precedence for fear.
Work with your child to establish core values and open communication. Let them know that your ultimate concern is their well-being and assure them that you’ll be there for them no matter their needs. A great way to facilitate open communication is by actually communicating on a regular basis. Find time to have a casual conversation with your kid(s) each day. No matter what you talk about, you’re strengthening your bond and showing them you care by checking in on what they’ve been up to.
- Get to know your child’s friends
We aren’t suggesting you become that mom or dad. You know, the one who is “cool” aka a burden on their time with their friends. What we’re saying here is that it’s important to know who your children are hanging out with while you’re not around. Ask your child about their friends and offer to have them over for a get together. Whether this be a BBQ with their parents or a movie night sleepover, having their friends spend time with you and your family will help you get a better idea of their character and the influence it has on your child.
- Keep snacks at home
The concept here is pretty simple. Build it and they will come. Keeping plenty of quick and easy snacks around the house is a surefire way to lead your kids back home on a summer day. Whether they’re out at the pool or spending time at a friend’s house, they’ll eventually want to check back in at home to grab a snack.
- Check-in…but don’t be overbearing!
Send a quick text every once in a while to see what they’re up to. Don’t get crazy, but also understand that this is another great way for you to connect with your child while you’re away. You could even make plans for dinner or check in to make sure they have everything they need for the day. No matter your subject of communication, that little bit of connection will help you ease your worry.
- Provide activity ideas
While your child won’t want you to map out their whole summer for them, they might actually appreciate it if you provide a few summer activity ideas here and there. Do you have a community swimming pool? Is there a movie theater nearby? How about a sports club or park? This is where the group of adults in point 1 can really come in handy. Find out what other parents are planning for their kids this summer then get your kids involved in the fun too. Set up your carpooling system and offer up a ride or two when you’re available. Find out when they would be able to provide rides as well and set a plan for a mutually beneficial system.
- Maintain some responsibilities
Yes, this is a break, but that doesn’t mean that all responsibilities need to drop off. Keep your child’s chore list up-to-date and try to maintain enrollment in the extracurricular activities and programs that you can. This will help you get a better idea of where and how your child is spending his or her time during the break. Many sports and activities offer special summer programs to keep children active while school is out. Look for those that are both interesting and affordable then work with your child and the program to create a schedule of regular activity.
- Keep an eye out
So you’ve covered pretty much all of your bases at this point. Now it’s time to sit back and let your child enjoy their summer vacation – while you’re hard at work at the office of course! While these tips will help you feel more comfortable with the fact that your child is home alone during summer break, implementing one more tip can help you be sure that all of your efforts are paying off. Introducing Izon. You’ve heard of us, right??
“Be There” with izon
The izon camera is the extra set of eyes parents have always wished for. By mounting a camera in areas of your home that see the most traffic on a summer day, you can keep an eye on when your child leaves the home and/or what they’re up to when they stay in. We know what you’re thinking here – How can you possibly watch this camera all day when you have work to do? This is actually a non-issue with izon.
We send movement alerts and offer unlimited video playbacks that allow you to monitor activity without staying glued to your screen. This is all operated using our free, mobile app that can be set up and synced with your izon in just minutes.
So what do you say? Are you ready to drop the worry and help your kids enjoy a fuller, safer summer break? Start by implementing each of the tips listed above, then come up with a few creative ways to make summer safer on your own. We’d love to hear some of your ideas in the comments below!