Youth Alternatives: maintaining routine during summer

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - Routines in the home always change during summer and it can be highly tempting to give up on routine altogether, but maintaining routine and structure can help the summer go smoothly. Here are a few tips to help you develop and maintain routine in your home this summer.

Photo courtesy: Wyoming Game & Fish

-Stick to a schedule. Stick to the rules.
Bend but don’t break. There is nothing wrong with altering the bedtime schedule and routines for the summer schedule, but don’t eliminate the rules. Plan ahead. If your children break the rules related to bedtime schedules or what they are allowed to do at night without your prior permission, then follow through with a consequence. Consistency is key. Consistency and routine in schedules will minimize chaos, reduce stress, and increase resilience when disruptions do occur.

-Plan regular activities for your children.
Planning family activities for the summer can help the family decompress from the school year as a family and build connection. It can also help to have scheduled activities throughout the week for your children while you are at work to help them avoid boredom, stay active, stick with the routine, and create fun memories. Many good options: Swimming, ice skating, live music downtown (Depot Plaza on Friday evenings), bike rides, go to a park, camp in the back yard, play basketball, throw a ball, Botanic Gardens, festivals

-Create a visual schedule for the family.
Especially helpful for pre-teens and younger, having a visual and concrete representation of a child’s schedule can help them mentally prepare for their day and cut down on erratic behaviors. Many ways to build one; Using poster board, Velcro, and printed pictures or words is simple and can be a fun activity that allows your child to be involved in planning.