04 Apr

Summer Is Here (Almost)

Robert Nickell

Robert Nickell

Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of 6, offers his "5 cents" worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds and daddy gear for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad's perspective.
Robert Nickell

The end of the year can be one of the most difficult times
for school aged children as they tend to lose motivation as summer and summer
break near closer and closer. As parents, it’s our job (one of our jobs,
anyways) to keep them motivated straight through to the end. So I’ve compiled a
list of tips that have helped my kids throughout the years, and I’m sure they
will help yours, too!

Plan Weekend Fun: To your kids, summer break may seem within
reach, but a month or two can really drag when you’re waiting for summer. One
thing that has worked for my children in the past is looking forward to more
attainable breaks and activities – and that’s what weekends are for! When
possible, plan special outings and activities on the weekends that will
motivate your children to get through each remaining week. I suggest beach
days, spring skiing, hikes, bike rides, attending a concert or play, etc. Be
creative and plan an activity your kids can truly look forward to and enjoy.
Additionally give them goals to achieve each week in connection to these
weekend activities; this will help keep them focused and driven, because, let’s
face it, they’ll do whatever it takes if it means a trip to Disneyland is in

Stick to Routine: Just because your kids think they can taste
summer break doesn’t mean it is actually here – or even that close. During the
school weeks, do your very best to stick to your child’s regular routine to
keep them in the swing of things and remind that them it’s not actually summer
break quite yet. In our household, in the past, our routines have been
variations of the following: my kids come home from school, eat a snack, complete
their homework, have dinner with the family, take a bath and head to bed. Of
course you can add in some extra fun with a special movie on a Friday night or
a fun craft project, but for the most part, sticking to routine will remind
your children that school is still in session and help them get through the
final remaining months.

Be a Cheerleader: Be a super motivator and cheer your
children through to summer break. Sure they might roll their eyes when you’re
hoorahing them out the front door at eight in the morning, but it’ll surely be
a brief distraction – at the very least. I suggest sneaking inspirational and
motivational notes into their lunchboxes reminding them to “keep their eyes on
the prize” (so to speak) and letting them know you believe in them. With a
doting and encouraging parent behind them – they’re sure to make it through to

Look to the Future: When in doubt, look to the future. Plan
an exciting summer trip and let your child help with the plans. The family trip
will give them something to look forward to instead of just summer. Make sure
they understand, however, that they’ll need to stay motivated at school during
the last couple of months in order to actually go on said trip.  Make goals and stick to them. If they achieve
their goals then they’ll get to go on the trip – it’s really a win for

Create Countdown Activities: And finally, countdown
activities are great for the youngsters. They can help put into perspective
just how far off – or close for that matter – summer break actually is. Some
ideas include printing off calendar pages and letting your child stick a
sticker onto each day at its end or making a paper chain and ripping off one
link everyday (kids like to watch the chain shrink). Be creative and make the
countdown activity something you and your child enjoy doing together.

The last couple months of school may be as exhausting for
you as they are for your child, as we all know being a fulltime cheerleader is
a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. I hope these tips and ideas will
work for you and your family as they’ve worked for me in the past.


Daddy Nickell

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