Connect with your kids this summer

Can you believe that the kids only have one more month of summer vacation!? Have you been able to spend a full day with them doing something special? We can’t always drop what we’re doing, but consider scheduling a day off work, forget the laundry and the lawn, and spend a day with your child. Here are a couple of ideas provided by “Know!” a Drug Free Action Alliance publication.

Create a family bucket list. Sit down with your children and list some activities to do as a family, such as take in a movie, take a family bike ride, go to an amusement park or facility, or pitch a tent.

Include a friend. Get to know your child’s friend on a drive to a canoeing trip. Or what about a summer concert? Talk and listen to your captive audience while driving.

Add another parent/child togetherness adventure. Maybe you can’t take a second day off from work, but you can still add some fun activities to share with your child. Pick a book for a family reading club, create a fun meal together, pack a picnic and head to a park, or take a how-to class.

Family experts say the most well-adjusted children, and those less likely to fall to negative peer pressure (such as alcohol or other drugs), are the ones whose parents are supportive, moderate on discipline and expectations of maturity, and high in communication. Contrary to popular belief, our tweens/teens actually want and need our time and attention. What we say and do deeply influences their choices and behaviors.

The important piece in choosing your activity for the day is that you are giving your child what they critically need to navigate successfully through the teen years YOU. Enjoy the rest of the summer together!

The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is committed to sharing information and resources for better mental health and the prevention of substance abuse. If you would like more information, please call the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties at (419) 448-0640 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The board’s funded hotline is available 24/7 at (800) 826-1306.

Nancy Cochran,

executive director