Good Parenting Skills for Spring Break

Spring break is one of the few times during the year that you can spend large chunks of time with your kids. With at least a week to work with, you have enough time to create new memories together. This is especially true if your family has recently had a change in structure because of adoption, fostering or divorce. Changes like these can be sensitive times for your kids, and sometimes, a vacation — or a stay-cation — is just what the doctor ordered.

As a parent, you may be thinking about ways to help them cope with these changes and ensure they have a memorable Spring break nonetheless. Communicating with the many people that play active roles in their lives and working together is one approach. Here are a few tips to help them better cope with a new family structure during the long Spring week off from school.

Talk to Your kids

improving communication

(c) Can Stock Photo / aletia

School breaks are the perfect time to touch base with your kids, especially when they’re going through major changes. Have a candid conversation with them so you can find out where they are mentally and emotionally. Ask how they feel about recent changes and if there’s anything you can do to make them feel better.

Communicating is a way to build strong family relationships that your kids will need when trying to navigate difficult changes. That said, always be ready to listen to any concerns they have and pay attention to non-verbal cues too.

If you’ve recently adopted a child or are working with one in the foster care system, then you should take extra care. They may have undergone traumatic experiences like abuse that hasn’t yet been addressed. Looking out for signs that something may be wrong and getting professional advice if so are good actions to take.

Communicate With Coaches and Teachers

Once you have an understanding and open line of communication with your kids, do the same with other people they engage with. If your kids play a sport, for instance, then they may happen to spend a great deal of time with coaches.

Communicate with their coach often so you’re aware of any changes in their behavior. The coach may have suggestions for things you could do at home to help your child.  Likewise, let them know that they’re going through things at home that could potentially affect their performance. Sometimes, kids look up to their coaches as role models, so they may be able to have a positive influence on them. By working together, you can give your child as much support as possible to be the best they can be.

Educators are another group of people your child sees on a regular basis. As with coaches, communicate with them so you know how your child is performing academically and behaviorally. At times, major changes and struggles outside of school can result in kids suffering academically. Working with their educators, however, can help you avoid this.

Create New Traditions

vacation

(c) Can Stock Photo / eric1513

Does your family need a new Spring Break tradition or two? And are you having some trouble coming up with ideas? Think back to what your family used to do during Spring Break. Did you grow up in the freezing tundra, and your family was the type to jet off to a tropical location in order to thaw out after a harsh winter? If a tropical getaway is outside your family budget, you can always whip out your planning apps and prep a good old fashioned road trip. Take your planning to the next level and use an Excel sheet to plan out all the details

Don’t want to travel, but you still want to build some new traditions with your family? Focus on your family’s penchant for artistic pursuits instead and use the time to research music lessons for the whole family. Start with picking the best instrument for the littles. Since they’re still in their developmental stages, choosing an instrument for them will be more difficult. The adults can choose their own around the kids, if they don’t already play one. There’s no telling how far a musical family might go. Look at the Osmonds or Idaho’s famous Braun family.

Build a Support System

They say that it takes a village to raise a child, so it isn’t something you need to attempt to do alone. Surround your kids with as many friends and family members as possible so that they feel the love from all sides. If they have a favorite aunt or a best friend, communicate what’s happening to them. They could connect with your child on a deeper level and maybe open up in ways they may not with you. Your child knowing that they have multiple people to turn to can be a great encouragement. It can also take some of the weight off of your shoulders so you can enjoy their time off as well.

Spring break comes around once a year so no matter your circumstances, make it count. Do your best to make it special for them so you create childhood memories worth remembering.

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