Schools are out, and summer break is here. Holidays are when families experience the best moments, beautiful memories are collected and family communication increases, in particular. Most parents have short chats with their children about routine things in the rush of daily life and time limitations. Unfortunately, these conversations are inadequate for children. Thus, summer break is an opportunity to understand and listen to children and strengthen communication. According to expert Clinical Psychologist Deniz Keskin, an efficient holiday is essential to mental and emotional development in children and contributes to their academic and social development. Thus, Keskin makes some suggestions to make summer holidays more efficient.
Pre-school period (ages 3-6)
Describe holiday plan with photos: A summer holiday is a farewell to the routine and brings curiosity, dreams and anxiety. Ask children what they did on the last day of school if they go to nursery school. Tell her or him where you will go and how much time you will spend there with pictures if you have a holiday plan. Do not forget that brain development in this age group is not like in adults as long-term planning and the capacity to wait is still developing. Tell them to visualize months like a schedule and separate into sections. Since all children wait for summer holiday, talk to them about plans beforehand.
Play to strengthen your relationship: Play is essential for children aged three to six. Do not view play as an activity to spend time, but as an opportunity to discover your child deeply and strengthen your relationship. Do not forget that instruction and free games that enrich your child's inner world will support self-expression in children.
Develop children's creativity: When symbolic play slowly appears, play occupational acting games, like being a doctor, a repairman or a teacher to develop creativity in children. Stress play that focuses on collaboration to develop group consciousness. Make a house with toy or wooden blocks or draw a summer painting on a big paper with your family. This will strengthen eye and hand coordination in children and support their fine motor skills.
Get outdoors: Summer is the biggest chance to develop gross motor skills. Biking, roller-skating and playing catch strengthens a child's body and helps create a physical space in the outer world.
School period I (ages 7-11)
Use the holiday efficiently with school-age children who impatiently wait for summer break.
Continue playing: Children seven to eleven need to express themselves with play like pre-school children. Accompany your child in play that enriches and routinizes them.
Buy and read books together: Go to a bookstore with your children at the beginning of summer and direct them to an age appropriate section to choose books to read.
Involve children in holiday plans: Don't just focus on events or places for children. Use pictures, guidebooks and documentaries to show children where you will go.
Make a program for homework: Concentrate on activities to develop cognitive talents, creativity and the thinking capacity of your child, not academic study. Limit homework in summer. Plan early for a productive holiday and to avoid last-minute crises.
Organize family play hours on specific days: In this age group, especially in the first years of school, summer creates an important opportunity to feel competitive in a safe home environment, understand anger and develop talents to get through hard feelings. Have age appropriate box games and have family play hours on specific days.
School period II (ages 7-11)
Adolescent children can grow, lose and find themselves via discovery.
Ask them what they want to do on holiday: With whom does he or she want to be with? Where does he or she want to go? What are her or his dreams about the holiday? These conversations are important to open a space in the mind of your child. Even if spending time together as a family is sometimes avoided, it is a really precious and inclusive period for your child or adolescent. Discover a city together, make a program according to the curiosity of your daughter or son.
Let them spend time as an individual: Use summer breaks to spend time together and enable your child to discover her or his concerns and attend summer camps, language courses, sports or art interests and spend time with peers in a positive environment.
Forget studying: In puberty, school life includes many critical exams, and children need to relax to study. Clinical research shows that if the anxiety level is high and parents are repressive, children can't focus and learning capacities are affected negatively. For example, if you have a child preparing for the high school entrance exam, do not spend summer telling her or him to study. Have free time at home for a whole day is difficult for a child used to studying with teachers, classes, tutors and courses. Encourage your child to prepare a studying program for him or herself.
Prepare mini-internships: Plan an age-appropriate internship that is relevant to their concerns or future professions.