Summer Rules for Kids

Make summer a safe season for your tween

Children and their counselor blowing bubbles at a park
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Summertime is a time when kids kick back and enjoy the pool, their friends and homework free evenings. Make sure your child enjoys his summer by keeping him safe, learning and having fun. These summer rules for kids will keep your child from falling into trouble and forgetting what he's learned. These rules will also keep your kids safe during the summer season.

Summer Rules for Kids

  • Make sure your child knows his or her curfew and that you enforce the curfew hours. Tweens need to know their limits, and a curfew is a good way to make sure your child is home before trouble can start. Be specific about curfew, and if necessary, have your child set a reminder on his phone or tablet.
  • Tweens need to know what dangers present themselves over the summer break. Talk to your tween about smoking, drowning dangers, inhalants, drugs, and other concerns. Be sure your child understands first aid, and knows when to ask for help from an adult or from authorities. You should provide your tween with a list of emergency numbers to call if you're  not around when something happens. Also be sure your child takes precautions when playing outside. Sunscreen should be worn, and safety equipment should be used when your child is riding a bike, scooter or skateboard. You might consider signing your tween up for a basic first aid class. Your local chapter of the Red Cross or your local YMCA may offer classes, depending on your child's age. 
  • Make reading a priority by enforcing a reading only hour every evening. During this hour all electronics are turned off so your child (and you) can enjoy a book, or a magazine. Look into summer reading programs that might be offered to older children through your local library, book store, or even online through your school district. 
  • Every child should be helping out with chores during the summer. Make sure your child understand his responsibilities. Possible chores include emptying the dishwasher, taking care of the pets, and helping to fix dinner. Encourage your child to pick and complete a chore every day without having to be asked or reminded. You might consider making a chore chart for the summer so that your tween has a daily reminder of what he is to do. If your child keeps up with his chores, you could offer to do something fun every week, or plan a fun event for the end of the summer.
  • Your child should understand that he can't always rely on you to keep him entertained. Tweens are old enough to find something to do on their own. Have your child create a list of boredom busters to use when he's out of ideas. Ask your tween to find a fun project that he can work on all summer long, such as building a model airplane, knitting a scarf, or making pet toys for your local animal shelter. 
  • Make outdoor play a part of your summer rules. Kids should spend time outside everyday, even if it's just riding a bike or walking around the block.
  • Your summer rules should include a strict bedtime hour. Tweens often don't get enough sleep, so pick a reasonable hour for your child's bedtime, and stick to it.
  • Limit the television and the computer for a certain amount of time every day. Be sure your child has the opportunity to find other ways to spend his free time.

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