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Are you the parent or caregiver of a young child wondering how to keep the next few months of summer sane? Due to an outside career or other obligations, are you finding it difficult keeping your toddler or preschooler on a routine at home to avoid any possible behavior issues? Well, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it may seem heading into the freedom of summer with your little one. There are many easy ways to avoid behavior issues in your toddler or preschooler by setting up a summertime routine now that will work for everyone. Here are some ideas to help you get started with this.

Use existing routines to set up a workable summer routine. If your child is already attending preschool or daycare, he or she has been on a routine all year. That means it will be easier to set up a workable summer routine that will be easy to adapt to. Check with your child’s school to determine what that schedule has been like and then design one around that. Chances are that you will still be working throughout the summer months, so that will not disrupt your child’s time at daycare. Try to stick with consistent times for meals, naps and activities. For example, if your child normally eats breakfast at 8 am, then you will want to plan your early morning meal for a time close to that in order to avoid a hungry and fussy child at 9 am. Follow the meal with a short period of playtime and then a nap to help your child get restorative rest and you a break.

Don’t forget about your child’s social routines. If your child has been attending a preschool or daycare all year, then they’ve probably developed special friends that they spend time socializing with all day. That means if they can’t see these friends during the summer months, they will miss them and probably be very upset by this. Make the summertime transition easier for your child by honoring their little social life and coordinating play dates with their school friends. This will be a great way for your child to spend time playing with their friends as well as you networking and sharing ideas with other parents of similar interests. Ask your child’s preschool for a sign-up sheet for any summer play-dates or leave a notice up on the bulletin board at your child’s school with your contact information so other parents can get in touch with you by the time the school year comes to a conclusion.

Start a simple summertime project. Giving your child something to look forward to, such as taking swimming lessons or creating a summer scrap book, is a great way to bridge the transition between the school year and carefree days of summer. Not only will it give you both something fun to do together, but they will learn the meaning of accomplishing a goal and have something to develop a sense of independence and self-confidence.

By establishing some realistic routines now, you will get a jump start on the summertime with your toddler or preschooler and reduce the chances that they will end up having behavior problems.

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