If your kids are driving you crazy already, check out these 1 Minute Positive Discipline tips for keeping the summer peace in your home!
1. Want more help this summer? Engage children in the tasks that still need to get done around the house. Teaching them how to do laundry, dishes and dust is not only a great way to keep them busy but it also teaches them life skills such as responsibility, capability and follow- through. Having a tough time getting them to do chores? Brainstorm with them on which jobs need to be done and then put them in a jar to pick out. Rotate jobs weekly to keep things interesting. Be sure to encourage the effort rather than focusing on what they “didn’t do right”. This will go a long way towards getting you continued cooperation.
2. Want less misbehavior this summer? Include children in the creation of plans & routines- When children feel a sense of control and power over their lives they have less need for misbehavior. As often as possible, give them a choice about what to do. I.E. Should we go to the store first or the carwash? Would you like ham or PB & J in your lunch for camp? We can walk or skip to the car, which would be more fun?
For routines, as much as possible try to stick with a general routine. Wake up, have activities and rest at the same times of the day. What do routines provide children? They give them a sense of “what is coming next”, safety, security and control. These things go a long way towards reducing misbehaviors. Even better, get them involved in the creation of their summer routine!
3. Want fewer fights over screen time and more physical activity this summer? Put firm limits on screen time, yes even during the summer. One of the beautiful things about this is that when you put a limit on it, kids are forced to figure out what else they can do, and the majority of the time it ends up being more creative and worthwhile then any show or video game. Setting limits also has an added benefit: it teaches the child how to set their OWN limits.
4. Want to have fun and really connect with your child this summer? Then just do it! Even though summers can be crazy busy, make true connection with your child a priority. Believe it or not, special time, just one on one with each of your children goes a long way towards reducing misbehavior. Children feel a sense of real connection with you, and, if you can practice actively listening during these times without judgment or criticism, even better!
5. Want more general peace and less stress this summer? Be sure to practice self-care during these “out of routine” times. Remind yourself that you don’t have to do it all. Continually re-evaluate your family priorities, not anyone else’s priorities for your family. Swap kids with your friends in order to get an inexpensive break, make a date with your spouse, and lose the guilt! Why is self-care important? Because, it is about what we are modeling for our children. If they see that mom and dad aren’t taking care of themselves, then self-care won’t become a priority to them either, and of course we want them to healthy and happy right? Self-care also goes a long way towards becoming a parent with more patience, less stress and higher levels of self-confidence. Again, all things we want to model for our kids!
If you are struggling with achieving any of these summer objectives or would like more tools on how to achieve them, be sure to sign up for one of our  parenting education courses, listed here: http://1minutemommy.com/community-classes-for-parents/