Discipline during summer months
Summer is finally here… Have you noticed how, during summertime, we tend to be less strict and more relaxed?
In our home, summer is a very special time of the year. Somehow, rules always end up being less enforced. They will reappear late August, right around the time my children go back to school. I work with many early childhood educators and they are unanimous: summer is different. Children who seem to be bursting with energy during the rest of the year are content because they enjoy long hours outside and therefore have plenty of room to run around and be active. Since schedules and routines are less rigid, children also enjoy more freedom. In general, everyone appreciates this more relaxed environment. Personally, I think this short break is almost necessary to “release” all the pressure we accumulate throughout the year.
You may be wondering how to approach discipline during summer months. Must we set all rules aside and just go with the flow? Here is a little food for thought.
- Forget about perfectly planned activities. Let children choose their own games and activities.
- Despite the fact your daily schedule will undoubtedly be modified a great deal, keep certain reference points. Not following your usual routine is normal and even recommended. However, maintaining certain reference points will help children feel safe and know what to expect.
- Maintain all essential rules, but let any superfluous rules slide. Children require guidelines, even during summer. Since children will enjoy more free time outside, you will most likely feel as if you are required to intervene less frequently.
- Rules and any logical consequences must remain. Rules need to be respected even when your routine is somewhat modified. If you lack consistency during summer, you will have a lot of catching up to do in the fall.
- Outdoors, make sure children are free to run around and be active. Take advantage of the fact that you will be spending more time outside to ensure that children expend their energy. This will most likely reduce the number of daily interventions.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the summer months to rest, relax, and enjoy stress-free days. Summer is the perfect time to recharge your batteries too.
Have a wonderful summer!
Maude Dubé, Specialized educator