Today is a very special day to recognize and appreciate all that our fathers have done for us through the generations. Now that school is out for most of our community schools, the roles of fathers and mothers goes into overdrive. I thought a few helps or ideas to get everyone on the same page for summer might be helpful! Everyone from child to great grandparents and extended family can make summer a win memory for all!
SHOPPING FOR SUMMER MEALS is always a challenge when kids are home or grandkids are visiting. If possible, have a family meeting, and make lists of what the food likes and dislikes are before going shopping. It is amazing to parents to hear “I don’t like that!” from a child who has always eaten something. Tastes change as we grow and age – even the ‘more mature’ members of the family can attest to that. Encourage including something new in every grocery shopping trip and make it a fun experience to try new foods. Make sure you encourage water as a main fluid – juices and soda tend to pack into body cells and store sugar and fat, and using them as primary fluid intake leads to childhood obesity problems (and it doesn’t help the aging body, either!).
Use the summer months to reinforce and establish basic house rules and chore schedules. Simple tasks of housekeeping your own turf and caring for the common turf to minimize cleaning needs will make the younger family learn responsibility and independence from the start, and it will help the parents and grandparents have more time to spend doing fun things with the family. Bed making, clothes sorting, washing and folding, dusting, washing windows, sweeping sidewalks (and vacuuming own turf when able) are all things that are easy to learn and make for a smoother running and happier household. All this needs to be done using love and example and praise, so that it will grow into a habit that will carry forth from childhood to adulthood.
I urge all parents and families to get busy right now to schedule necessary doctor, dentist and other necessary medical appointments early in the summer. As a family practice nurse, I can tell you that waiting till the last minute makes for a very stressful time for all, and I felt so bad when I had to say ‘we have no more appointment time available before school starts (very common the last week or two before school begins!). Make sure all immunizations are current early in the summer and have the updates ready for the school when they ask. If you don’t like having to tell your child something ten times, imagine how the school feels when they have to ask ten times for the required documents. Be proactive, be an example of responsibility and a proud child of God who is taking good and responsible care of your body that He gave to you.
God’s blessings to each of you and know that I am available for questions and help by just letting me know.
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace, firstname.lastname@example.org