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Summer Schedules: Parenting and Date Night

If you are a parent, there is nothing more complex than navigating your family work schedules and the kids’ summer schedules. I’ve heard someone refer to the summer as their personal Olympic Decathlon of managing their work calendars, their kids schedules, and trying to find a moment to relax for themselves. For those who are working on continuing to improve their relationships, summer schedules MIGHT be the most optimal time for including date night.

Why are summer schedules difficult?

To begin, humans are inherently wired for routine and consistency. Think about a baby. The baby gets hungry on a schedule, goes to sleep on a schedule, and if that schedule is altered, the baby lets you know. I think every parent knows what I mean by that statement. Summer schedules can be difficult because they change our routines that we are used to adhering to during the school year. There is a predictable time for learning, extra-currricular activities, and even date nights.

school bus on a beach depicting summer schedules
Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on

Tips to find your kids summer routine

First, finding a routine during the summer can be challenging, especially with the more unpredictable schedule compared to the school year. Here are four tips to help establish a summer routine:

  • Create a Flexible Daily Schedule:
    • Design a daily routine that includes time for essential activities like meals, chores, and exercise, while leaving room for flexibility. This approach helps maintain structure without feeling too rigid. For example, set general time frames for different activities rather than specific times.
  • Incorporate Fun and Learning:
    • Balance fun activities with learning opportunities. Schedule time for hobbies, outdoor activities, and socializing with friends alongside reading, educational games, or creative projects. This mix keeps teens engaged and productive.
    • Have you seen Mark Rober’s Crunch Labs Summer Camp? Massively popular YouTuber, Mark Rober is a NASA scientist responsible for many parts of the current Mars mission makes science accessible and fun for kids and adults!
  • Set Goals and Rewards:
    • Encourage teens to set personal goals for the summer, such as learning a new skill, completing a project, or achieving a fitness milestone. Establish a system of rewards for meeting these goals, which can motivate them to stick to their routine.
  • Maintain Regular Sleep Patterns:
    • Maintaining consistent sleep schedules are crucial for overall health and well-being. Aim for a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even during the summer. This helps teens get enough rest and makes transitioning back to a school schedule easier.

Summer Date Night Ideas

Next, here are five fun and romantic summer date night ideas for parents to enjoy at home:

  • Backyard Movie Night:
    • Set up a projector and a screen (or simply use a blank wall or sheet) in your backyard. Create a cozy seating area with blankets, pillows, and lawn chairs. Add some fairy lights for ambiance and prepare a selection of your favorite movies. Don’t forget the popcorn, snacks, and a fan to keep you cool!
  • Candlelit Dinner Al Fresco:
    • Plan a special dinner outside under the stars. Set up a table with a nice tablecloth, candles, and your favorite dinnerware. Cook a meal together or order from your favorite restaurant. Enjoy the warm evening with a glass of wine and a delicious meal.
  • Stargazing and S’mores:
    • If you have a clear night, set up a blanket and some comfortable seating in your backyard for stargazing. Use a stargazing app to help identify constellations. To make it even more special, set up a small fire pit or use a portable stove to make s’mores together.
  • DIY Spa Night:
    • Transform your bathroom into a spa retreat. Light some scented candles, play relaxing music, and set up a bubble bath with bath salts or essential oils. Give each other massages using massage oils or lotions. Finish the night with a relaxing cup of herbal tea.
  • Cooking Class at Home:
    • Finally, you can choose a new recipe that you both are interested in and have a cooking class at home. Gather all the ingredients in advance and follow a recipe together step by step. You can find video tutorials online or follow a recipe from a cookbook. Enjoy your culinary creation together once it’s done.
    • Here is one of our favorite Date Night cooking classes on YouTube
person holding sliced vegetable during cooking class for summer schedule date nights
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on

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