3 Parenting Tips for the Transition to Summer!

You want to have a great summer with your kids but the transition from a school to summer routine can be difficult. The change of your kid’s daily schedule comes with a myriad of different challenges.

At Kid Matters Counseling, I see many parents who are looking for ways to connect with their children through schedule transitions but just aren’t sure where to start.

One way that helps the parent/child relationship is to incorporate a few mindfulness based behaviors into their routines.  (KEEP READING TO SEE VIDEOS ON HOW TO PUT THESE TIPS INTO PRACTICE!)

Mindfulness is a way to regulate in any situation. It is paying attention to what is going on in and around you.

Parenting Tip #1:

“Pocket Reframes”

Challenging Negative Behavior & Thinking

WHAT IS IT?

A “Pocket Reframe” is a short phrase parents can use to challenge their child’s negative thinking and to look at a situation from a different perspective.

WHEN TO USE THIS TIP 

Frustrating Events

Scene: You promise your child a hot dog at Costco but when you are in the checkout line you notice the food court is under renovation.

Child’s response “It’s not fair! I can’t believe this is happening to me! This is the worst day ever.”

Pocket Reframe: “Ugh, I feel frustrated when what we planned doesn’t work out the way we planned it, I wonder if we could make a new plan together.”

Mischiveous Behavior

Scene: Your child is poking his sister.

Parental Reaction: “Stop poking your sister”

Pocket Reframe: “It seems to me you need some attention, let’s play together.” 

Building Empathy

Scene: One of your children has an eye patch and your other child is saying she looks stupid.

Parental Reaction: “Stop being mean to your sister!”

Pocket Reframe: “I wonder if you could find another way to talk with your sister?”

Putting It To Practice! 

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Parenting Tip #2:

“30 Second Bursts of Attention”*

Connecting With Your Child On Their Level

WHAT IS IT?

When a child is acting out, stop what you are doing, get on the child’s level, and give your child undivided, focused attention for 30 seconds- “seeing” them and what they are trying to communicate.  

Then say “I have to finish this email or finish talking to Aunt Lucy now” and stand up and finish what you are doing!

WHEN TO USE THIS TIP

Anytime you or your child is overwhelmed, stress out, or unsettled.

Putting It To Practice!

*Concept from the CPRT Parent Manual by Gary Landreth,Sue Bratton.

Parenting Tip #3:

Mindfulness Moments

Treat Your Child to a Mindfulness Break

WHAT IS IT?

Mindfulness moments are a fun way to lower stress and promote bodily awareness for kids and parents! The following is one way to practice a mindfulness moment:

First: Stop.

Second: Name a feeling inside of you.

Third: Do a body check-in: Ask: “Where are you feeling this emotion in your body?”

Fourth: Then promote a bodily awareness activity:

Take a pause

Take a few deep breaths

Wiggle or dance about

March around the room

Sing a song

WHEN TO USE THIS TIP

Unscheduled Check-In’s: Delighting in your child & noticing the good.

Scheduled Check-In’s: After school & before bed. Look away from the phone or computer & get down on their level, emotionally and physically.

Putting It To Practice!

Susan Stutzman

Susan Stutzman

Owner | Child Therapist | LCPC, RPT

Parenting is hard! But you don’t have to do it alone. I work with children and parents to resolve emotional conflict, cultivate healing, and nurture hope.

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Disclaimer: These writings should be considered a matter of personal opinion. They do not reflect professional advice. This medium does not lend itself to the level of detail and intimacy required to provide professional advice. If you are in need of consultation, we highly recommend you seek professional counseling. If at all possible, you should seek a reliable referral from a trusted source.

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