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Structuring your kids’ summer

Keep your children busy – and healthy – throughout summer break.

Article Author: Juice Staff

Article Date:

Several children blowing bubbles outside during summer break.

When school lets out and kids race home for their eagerly anticipated vacation, it can be overwhelming for parents to figure out how to keep them entertained for weeks on end.

6 tips for your kids' summer break

Joseph Frank, MD, a pediatrician with Mandarin Pediatrics, offered some ideas for keeping your kids occupied and on a schedule.

1. Get outside

Get your kids playing outside as much as you can to improve their physical and mental health.  Go on a walk or a bike ride, or explore our state parks. Just remember: If you plan on hitting the pool or any other body of water, make sure there's always an adult within arm's reach of young children and a designated "water watcher" to keep an eye on all swimmers.

2. Limit electronics

Dr. Frank has seen an increase in young kids coming in with headaches and mood swings, which may be attributed in part to the increased time kids have been spending on electronics. Try to limit your children to two hours per day on electronics to minimize stress and reduce headaches.

3. Keep their sleeping pattern stable

Maintaining a good sleep schedule is critical not just for young kids but for teenagers who are still growing.

4. Foster their independence

The more responsibility they have, the more confident your kids will feel. Make sure their tasks are appropriate and clear-cut for their developmental age. Favor positive reinforcement over negative reinforcement when possible.

5. Allow for free time

Let your kids have unstructured free time without electronics so they can learn what it means to be bored! Sometimes, it's in these moments of boredom that they can be the most creative versions of themselves.

6. Try to schedule some family time each day

For example, make it a point to eat breakfast or dinner together. If your children know family time is coming at a set time each day, they will probably fight it less and may even look forward to family dinner!

Need help building healthy habits with your child?

A Baptist Primary Care pediatrician can offer advice and guidance. To find the right provider for you and your family, call  [904.202.4YOU (4698)][3] or fill out the [appointment request form][4].

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