Have you reached meltdown season yet? It happens sometime in the summer -- after the excitement of carefree days wears off; when kids realize you aren't going to let them watch TV for 8 straight hours; when their friends go to summer camp; when swimming lessons end, and you don't have time to take them to the pool anymore.
It's hard to maintain your own sanity when your children are whining about being bored for the 97th time in one day (and it isn't even lunchtime yet!).
What to do?
First, create a summer routine that gives your children structure. Then, help them create goals they can reasonably accomplish before school starts again. And finally, create a fun reward system for the goals they reach.
Here are some summertime rewards your kids will be itching to earn.
1. A Special Date with Mom or Dad
Kids love one-on-one attention from their parents. What do you and your child bond over? Baseball? Crafts? Camping? Movies? Look for events in your area near the end of the summer that correspond with your child's favorite activities. Find one that makes your child's eyes light up, and write it on the calendar. Any time she grumbles about chores or summer reading, you can just point to the calendar to remind her of what she should be looking forward to.
Short on funds? Many cities offer free movies in the park, free concerts, and free festivals. Keep an eye out.
2. A Campout
Backyard or mountains, camping is pure fun. Pencil it in on a free weekend in August, and start stocking up on s'more ingredients now.
3. An Amusement Park Trip
You don't have to shell out the big bucks for the hottest amusement park in your area (although, that's always a fun option!). Water slides, indoor trampoline parks, county fairs... even roller skating rinks or indoor jungle gym centers can be enough of an incentive to keep your kiddo on track.
4. A Best Buds Excursion
If your child has a friend he just can't get enough of, he'd probably do anything for the chance to have a fun excursion with that friend at the end of summer. Promise a trip to the movies, an epic sleepover with loads of treats, or a day at the zoo with his bestie.
5. A Fun Water Toy
Consider giving your child a midway reward after a few weeks of summer. A fun sprinkler attachment, slip n slide, blow-up pool, or beach toy would be exciting -- and giving the reward in the middle of summer will help kids who have a hard time keeping interest maintain focus over the long haul.
6. A Party
Promise a thrilling back-to-school party for your child and several friends. Let her tell you what treats she'd like, and have her suggest activities and games to keep her mind on the prize.
7. A Favorite Meal
For those motivated by food, offer your child's favorite meal. If it's in the budget, let that meal be at your child's favorite restaurant. If not, decorate the kitchen and be your child's server for the evening. Take his order on a notepad, and provide coloring for entertainment -- just like in a real restaurant. Let him invite a friend or two to make it even more fun. And don't forget dessert!
8. Extra Screen Time or a Later Bedtime
If your child needs reinforcement more often than once at the end of summer, give weekly rewards in the form of extra screen time or a later bedtime on the weekend. Nothing says "motivate" like a chance to spend time with favorite TV or video game characters.
Keep Track of the Goal
Brili will automatically reward stars when your child completes tasks in her routine. (You set how many stars each task is worth.) Then, it lets you deduct the stars when a reward is redeemed. There's no easier way to keep track of your child's progress towards earning her reward!