The Roundup -

Keeping Your Child Connected this Summer


As we ended the school year and heard that big sigh of relief from students, parents and teachers for another year done, we need to remember the summer months are just as important as the school year when it comes to keeping our children busy and connected with friends, family and activities. This is the time of year sleeping late, video games and lounging around are daily occurrences for many children.

Getting outside for healthy activities is crucial for a child’s well-being, but so is socially interacting with friends and community. It curbs one from the influences of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other bad lifestyle choices. Being “bored” is something most kids complain of at some point. And these are the times that active minds with little to do may decide to make the wrong decisions. Let’s be proactive this summer with a few tips:

Get a list of friends from your child that they would like to see regularly. Make sure these friends are positive influences for your child.

Get to know the friends’ parents and make a plan to talk about expectations and needs during the summer months. Plan times and days for your children to do things together.

Ask your child to text, call or see a friend daily to keep their social lives active. Follow up to make sure those texts and calls are going well and offer to listen when problems arise.

Encourage them to listen to their friends and to be sincere with their friendships. Teach them how to respect their friendships by not gossiping or talking negatively about them.

Make a daily schedule for your child with activities and times for their friends and make sure it is being followed, allowing for spontaneous activities, too! This also helps teach your child a great skill for life!

Keeping your child active in their lives helps them succeed in many aspects. Teaching them these skills can enhance their friendships, health, and social life, especially when school is back in session. Take these opportunities to teach them these life skills early in life and curb bad habits, physically and socially. Make this summer count!

If you have any questions about the Family Resource Center, parenting or how to help your child develop healthy lifestyle choices, contact Nicole Hackley ( or Missy Smies ( at 406-433-4097, and checkout our Facebook pages at Richland County STAND or StAnD4yOUth. The Family Resource Center is partially funded by the Montana Childrens’ Trust Fund. It is located at the Sidney Public Library and has many resources for parents.


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