bell may have rung for the last time until fall, but it doesn’t necessarily
mean that leaning stops for our children. It does depend if parents are
going to baby sit their kids this summer or become proactive and plan for
summer of learning.
If you child needs academic help that you cannot facilitate,
by all means, consider summer school or a tutor. Kids that could use some
physical activity can be enrolled in exercise classes, dance, swimming
lessons or take-in one of our wonderful mountain camping programs.
Some parents will stock-up on snacks and cold drinks and put
their children in front of video games and television for the
summer. Other will expect their kids to be at a friend's house
swimming or playing games. Wise parents will give their kids time to
decompress after a good school year, but will still want their kids
to learn more.
A lot of
teaching by parents comes about due to circumstances. Some parents don’t say
much about telling the truth until one of the kids tells a lie. Many parents
don’t say much about alcohol until one of the kids asks or experiments. As
the school year ends and there is still some time to plan, we can ask:
What can we teach our kids that teachers can’t?
I’m not suggesting that anyone develop an extension of classroom
instruction. However, some important learning can take place if a few goals
Depending upon the age of your child, you’ll want to decide what they can
handle. Your five-year-old will not appreciate a lesson on how compound
interest nearly made you bankrupt, but he or she might learn a little about
you and life if you looked together at the web sites that you visit.
Some children could spend ten minutes looking at your checkbook and
bill statements as you explain how bills get paid. Pointing out where your
money goes does teach your children much about your values.
You have a really good friend, right? Spend some time this summer talking
with your child about friends and why someone is your friend. Talk
about boundaries between friends and how friends influence you, and let your
child build expectations for his or her future friendships.
As soon as you can, teach your child the value of trust and
what’s really important in life. You’ll have to decide how you will present
the value of relationships and the value of possessions and how you balance
them in your life. To assume they are learning isn’t enough. Ask enough
questions so that you are satisfied they are leaning.
Find some way of explaining why you are proud to be a family. Children who
know a lot about their family history are sometimes conscious of the history
they are making in their family today.
Isn’t it time to start equipping our children with ways of handling
difficulties? If we can find a way to explain how we get through tough
times, perhaps our children will be better equipped for struggles.
And what about this “religion?” Will we allow an institution like a church
or Sunday school take the entire responsibility for teaching our children
about prayer, faith, life purpose and destiny? Those are some “far out”
concepts that mature adults can accept. However, those concepts might be
better learned if experienced and reinforced in every day life at home.
Can we set goals of teaching our children some things they won’t learn in
school? We can become better parents this summer! Here are a few
• Be grateful
and thankful for your child.
• Take a short
class on parenting.
• Work on a strategic sense of humor.
• Hang out with
some good parents that you admire.
• Set goals for
your own improvement …do you need to spend more time, supervise homework, or
prepare meals in advance? Pick a goal and be a winner!
• Make sure you are mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally happy.
It’s been said, “When you teach a child, you teach the child’s child.”
Here’s a final question before that school bell rings. Ask, “What if every
parent was just like me?”