At Brightling Childcare Academy, we see parents every day who are somehow managing to keep careers moving forward, children’s educations building, extended family’s needs met, and every minute packed with valuable developmental opportunities.

Many are exhausted. But it often feels so important to make sure we squeeze every drop of value out of every minute we have with our children.

With school out for older kids and spending much of the day outside a possibility for everyone, we have a chance to step back from our “parent as programmer” role a bit… without guilt. And in fact, we’d be right to congratulate ourselves for the smart parenting we’re doing.

Creating new comfort zones

Letting kids play on their own gives them opportunities to develop a number of important skills (check out this great article from the Harvard website that explains how and why).

Guided and free play are important elements of our educational approach in all our programs at Brightling for exactly these reasons… and because we know from more than two decades of experience that children who learn to play on their own grow up to be better problem-solvers who are comfortable exploring their curiosity.

So give yourself *and* your kiddo a break this summer, and make sure there’s plenty of time for play. Don’t feel you need to program every minute of every day with activities. If they complain of being bored, suggest things they could explore or challenge themselves with – but don’t feel you need to give in and deliver something fun to do at all times.

It may feel like “tough love” at first, but in the long run, it could give your child the priceless gift of self-sufficiency.