Summer Vacation, Part 2
Play after work
During the school year, you set a regular study time for your child because it helps him get his work done. In the same way, scheduled playtimes in summer — for kids and parents together — will insure fun as well as family bonding. So play catch in the backyard, take a bike ride, or go out for ice cream. These relaxed times provide just the change of pace you and your child need to de-stress after nine months of school, or even a day's work.
Help your teen find work
A part-time job is a rewarding way for an adolescent to spend some of his summer. Few things work better in building a sense of maturity, independence, and personal competence. The structure a job affords is a plus for kids with ADHD, and the extra spending money is, of course, an added bonus. While some teenagers are capable of finding a job for themselves, many need guidance and encouragement.
Start by defining work goals for your child, such as earning money or learning a new skill. Discuss the right types of jobs, based on her skills, organizational ability, and attention capability. Then help her choose where to apply. It doesn't hurt to work on interview skills; role-play business owners and managers with her. Your encouragement and support may be just what your teen needs to follow through on a job search.
Let kids be kids
This may be the key to your child's summer-vacation success. Essentially, being a child is natural, spontaneous, and easy. You encourage this process when you allow your child the time and freedom to do what he feels like doing.
As I said earlier, some structure during summer vacation is important. But so is unstructured downtime. Most children can be amazingly creative in finding ways to have fun. With your encouragement, the freedom to do nothing opens up countless possibilities to do anything.
Parents needn't be constant entertainment directors in the summer. It may be more helpful to express confidence in your child's ability to be creative and inventive — and then let him. So go ahead and schedule some activities, then get out of the way and let your child do what comes naturally.