Summer can be a busy time for many parents. With organizing vacations, finding daycare options while balancing a full-time job, managing their children’s camps and activities, and preparing their kids for the next school year, the season typically associated with relaxation is anything but that. During all this chaos, it’s often easy to forget to check-in on what your child is doing in their spare time. Without the structure of the school year, many kids begin playing video games for hours on end, often without a purpose in their play and without breaks. The summer is a special opportunity for families to set specific goals and develop deeper relationships with one another, two things that can then be replicated year round. Check out these 5 Tips we suggest for making this summer a success for both you and your child!
This is an extremely beneficial task to do each day, and it only takes 5-10 minutes! At Ukatsu, we preach that a successful journal is comprised of 4 components - an inspirational quote, gratitude, goals, and affirmations. By doing your daily journal with your child each morning, you can both set an example and develop more of a bond between the two of you. Sharing your goals, gratitude, and affirmations shows your own vulnerability as well as your personal aspirations, two things that create a solid trust between you and your child. Doing these journals each day can also establish a level of accountability between the two of you to achieve these goals and affirmations. While you as a parent will probably have different goals than your child, the 3 types of goals below are fantastic ways for both of you to grow and bond as a family.
Setting Exercise Goals
Like we said before, many kids today enjoy spending countless hours on a screen, whether it’s watching YouTube, playing video games, or even scrolling through social media. And while these activities are entertaining, it is important to use screens in moderation — one way being through exercise. Our mission at Ukatsu is to maintain a balance in life, and one component of that mission is physical health. It may be hard to convince your child of this truth, so we’ve come up with a few easy ways to incorporate more exercise into your child’s life.
Doing Exercises Between Games - Many games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Overwatch have waiting periods between games, giving your child ample time to get in a short workout. Whether it’s crunches, jumping jacks, or a short ab routine, your child will get a short break from the screen while also keeping their growing body healthy!
Work Before Play - While this may be harder to initiate, having a set amount of time to workout prior to playing video games can help your child maintain that much needed balance. The workout could be 30 minutes a day, or perhaps one hour 3 times a week; just make sure that a routine is established that both you and your child can agree to, understand the benefit of, and if possible, work on together. Nothing encourages a child more than seeing a role model of theirs working toward a common goal with them.
Ukatsu Camps - This is a perfect opportunity for parents who may not be able to workout with their child. Ukatsu has a variety of camps each year, ranging from day camps, to Spring Break Camps, to several week-long Summer Camps. These camps allow your child to play the games they love while also journaling and exercising each day. They’re also surrounded by other kids who play video games just like them, which helps your child create close friendships with peers who are striving for that balance just like they are.
Video Game Achievements
Setting goals with your child about the video games they play adds a whole new meaning to their gaming experience. Many times, it’s easy for a child to get caught up in just trying to win a video game without thinking about how they can improve. Without direction, a child can become angry and hostile online and lose the passion they originally had for the game. When you help your child develop video game goals, you help them work toward an achievement with a purpose. Goals can be short-term, such as learning a particular building strategy in Fortnite or mastering a new Champion in League of Legends, or a long-term goal such as reaching GrandMaster in Overwatch. If you have time, work with your child on their gaming goals together. This could include watching and discussing strategy videos with them, or even just playing a game with them to try out something new. By having a mentor they can work with to achieve a goal, they will feel more confident and encouraged, all while giving you and your child a part of the day they can spend together.
Working On Their Passions
Though it may be harder for kids still in elementary school, try to find something your child is passionate about. We’ve seen kids aspiring to become YouTubers, Twitch Streamers, video game designers, and programmers - some even as young as 9 years old! Start off with small goals such as making their first video, designing a YouTube channel banner, or going through one lesson of coding. These goals can teach them invaluable skills in Photoshop, video editing, learning a computer language, and so much more, all which can be used on resumes and college applications in the future. To help them achieve these goals, you as a parent have a variety of options. Taking career-building classes in town, watching in-depth YouTube videos, and even signing up for online classes can be great ways for your child to grow in their passion. Who knows, you may even become interested in their passion as well!
For all of the types of goals above, it’s important to check-in with your child to see how they’re doing during this journey. If your child is struggling to reach their goals, work with them to figure out where the difficulty lies. Lend them positive encouragement during the process, and offer possible solutions if they’re stuck on what to do next. If they reach their goals, celebrate! Share these achievements with the rest of the family, take them out for a special meal or dessert, or perhaps take them to an event they’ve been itching to go to. Celebrating their success will help them feel more accomplished, and they’ll want to achieve bigger and better things in the future.
Have Fun With Friends and Family!
While setting a time to achieve the above goals is important, it is also crucial that you and your family have fun during the summer! This doesn’t necessarily mean taking vacations or going to week-long camps. Spend a day at a waterpark, watch the newest movie in theaters, go on a family hike, or even encourage your child to take some time to develop in-person relationships with their friends. These activities don’t have to take the entire day; what’s important is that you and your child spend meaningful time with both family and friends while also making memories that you can look back on and cherish.