Last month, this column was dedicated to identifying how important it is for parents to make good decisions regarding their children’s summer activities, some of the common mistakes, and how you can pick the right programs for the summer. If you missed it, now would be a good time to find that issue or go online and review to catch up, and then come right back here. Go ahead, I’ll wait…..
Ok. So now that you are caught up, I’d like to pick up and continue with Part 2.
After deciding to be a great parent and to be proactive in the decisions about your children’s summer activities, families also face three big challenges with TIME.
The first challenge is that some activities want you to commit, up front, to being a part of something for the whole summer. That isn’t an extremely long commitment. But, during the summer, many families have plans to be out of town or plans for other special activities. So committing to a program for the whole summer when you really can’t take advantage of it can be frustrating. Instead, it’s good to look at programs that offer a slightly shorter period and/or offer several different start times so that it’s convenient for your family’s calendar of events without wasting money.
The second challenge is that some programs have very limited schedules. Families today are busier than ever. So if a summer activity for kids doesn’t offer multiple times throughout the week to participate, then there is clearly a lack of understanding of the families they are there to serve. When checking out the activities and facilities, be sure to look to see if there is a selection of several times. If not, then it may be difficult to make things work on a consistent basis (because most of our schedules have a tendency to get disrupted no matter what we do). Also if there is only one specific time, the activity could be very crowded and your child becomes just a number in a crowd.
The third challenge is, “What happens when my child likes the summer program but then there’s no way to continue?” Some programs are only set up during the summer and really offer no year-round options or extended opportunities for your child to continue learning, developing and achieving. If you decide an activity is a great match for your goals regarding your child and they are having fun too, then why would you want to stop? Unfortunately this is not always an option. So, this is something good to look into before getting hooked into something. Moreover, find out if there are options for family participation in any of the activities—this is a great way to support your child and share in something fun!
So as part of your final evaluation of summer activities for your child, be sure to check into these three time factors. Do they offer multiple start times throughout the summer to match your calendar? Do they offer multiple times throughout the week to find your busy schedule and avoid overcrowding? And finally, do they offer options for continuing past the summer if you decide it’s a good match for your family? Checking into these things ahead of time will avoid stress, save money and help you make the best decision for your child’s activities for the summer.
And, when you want to ask more about great options for summer programs, be sure to check out Tiger Rock Academy at (402) 483-1011. In its 20th year in Nebraska, Tiger Rock continues to provide great training solutions for families in Lincoln, Omaha, and Firth.
by Jeff Dousharm, President
For additional information, contact Jeff Dousharm at Jeff@ParadigmImpactGroup.com.