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Gail Troussoff Marks
Relax and Recharge
Silver Stars Gymnastics

Relax and Recharge

Summer is here. That sigh of relief that you and your kids let out when school ends could turn into groans over new summer struggles. Learning to adapt to change, to be flexible and to deal with structure or the lack of structure are all important lifeskills.Summeris a time for such growththrough different experiences.
Summer is a great time to try something new. Many sports have short camps which provide an excellent way to try a sport without making a major commitment. High school sports are demanding and competitive, so elementary school is a good time for kids to experiment with different sports. Another benefit of trying new things is that it can expand a childs comfort level. Even if the child decides not to continue in a sport, they will have gained skills and understanding. New experiences build confidence. It is useful for parents to approach new activities as a way to broaden experiences rather than rating them as a success or failure based on their childs performance.
Summer is a great time for hands-on learning. Growing a fewvegetables can give a child a reason totry new foods. Seeing new places on vacation, going to a museum, or learning a new sport are all ways to expand ones experiences. Outdoor activities give a child exposure to nature and the environment in a season free of bulky jackets and boots. Active outdoor play is invigorating and there is increasing evidence that motor activity enhances learning. Summer is an ideal time to play outside, bike, and swim. Try to leave the screens behind (video, computer, and game screens) and instead take a walk, play putt putt, or draw with chalk on the driveway.
If your child has required summer reading or other academic work, think about approaching it differently. If children study at a deskduring the school year,let themread or work in different places. Maybe your child can pick out a book for you to read and both of you can share reading time together. Be open to learning experiences that occur away from the typical structure of school.
Working parents may not have the luxury of a relaxed summer schedulebut usually thecommuter traffic subsides, sothat helps. Finding the right mix of alternatives to school to keepchildren occupied is a challenge for working parents. It is a puzzle to put together a summerthat balances structured activities with a more relaxed schedule. While keeping children busy every minute during the summer maybe too much,letting them have all unstructured time leads to a lot of TV, computer time and getting lonely and bored whenall their friends are at camp or on vacation. Simplify life as much as possible and focus on enjoying your family and those around you this summer. Make time to relax and recharge so your family can be refreshed when the bustling fall routine begins.

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