School is out. The day-to-day structure is gone. Our children are bored, looking for something to do and someone to do it with. What that will be and who it will be with may depend largely upon you, the parent.
You work hard; you may have several children; money is tight; you’re tired; and time with your children is limited…Understandable. Let’s work with what we have.
Make time, as often as possible, to talk with each of your children, individually…really listen, ask questions, show interest.
Become involved with the things that you and your children share in common.
Be aware of who your children’s friends are, where they are going and whether they will be supervised there. Get a phone number, when possible.
Tell your children early and often that you don’t want them to use tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Explain to them why.
Be a role model for your children.
Develop a family project for the summer… For instance, help a charity, together. Make repairs around the house or clean out the garage or plant a vegetable/flower garden together. There’s nothing better than eating what YOU have grown or placing YOUR fresh flowers on the table. Hard work, fresh air, working together to make your space something you can be proud of, as a family, is another very uplifting family experience and is the “stuff” of positive memories for a child. Challenge your children to take what you are about to throw away from these projects and turn them into art for the home…recycle, creativity, more positive family activities.
Next time, I’ll share more ideas to help our kids have a positive and enjoyable summer.
Broward County Circuit Court Judge Merrilee Ehrlich sits on the Juvenile Delinquency bench. She has been a lawyer for 30 years, first in the Broward County State Attorney’s Office and then, in private practice, for over 25 years. Judge Ehrlich was the first woman in Broward County to open a private criminal law practice. She has been admitted to practice all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. She is a Florida Supreme Court certified Family Mediator, County Court Mediator and Arbitrator.