Surviving the summer holidays: Parent Talk offer their top tips for families this summer

Friday 21 July 2023
2 brothers smiling at each other as they sit at the table eating toast

For parents and carers, the summer holidays should be a chance to make and cherish new memories as a family. However, the dream of spending long summer days at the beach is clouded for many families across the UK.

With rising costs, the challenge of juggling childcare and work, and the need to pay for new school uniforms at the summer’s end means that the holidays can become an extremely challenging time.

To help alleviate the stress felt by families across the UK, we have collated some of our best advice for parenting challenges in the summer holidays.

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1. Giving your child more independence

For older children and teenagers, the summer holidays are a time of freedom. They will likely want to go out to the park or the shops without the company of an adult. However, for many parents and carers, this raises the question of whether they are ready. Alternatively, you may be wondering whether it is okay to leave your child at home for a short time whilst you are out.

Whilst it’s never okay to leave babies or young children alone, it is okay to leave older children and teenagers alone for a short time if it is safe. This will depend on the situation and the environment they are in, their age, and their development stage.

2. Keep back-to-back school costs down

The approach of the new school year can cause anxiety for families as they juggle the cost of the summer holidays with the cost of new school uniforms, shoes, and school supplies.

Many parents feel worried that they can’t afford brand new uniforms for their children, or concerned that their child may feel left out if they can’t have the same things as their friends. But there are ways to manage these added costs of the new school year.

Teen school mates walking in the street with big smiles on their faces.jpg

3. Co-parenting in the summer holidays

Co-parenting can be challenging for separated partners, particularly if the separation was recent. However, it doesn’t always need to be hard or unpleasant, and a positive experience can play a large role in how children grow and develop. As you navigate this new dynamic, working together as a team can make the experience much more positive.

4. Get help if you’re worried about money

Financial worry is one of the most common concerns for parents during the summer holidays

This year, the rising cost of food and bills and changes to the benefits system is causing added concern for families worried about money. However, there are resources out there to help. Whether you are seeking tips on how to cut your outgoings or looking to understand whether you are eligible for direct support, the Parent Talk team are here to help.

5. Cost-free summer activities

With a little bit of inspiration, families can enjoy lots of cost-free and budget friendly activities this summer. From scavenger hunts in your local area to making scrapbooks of hand-drawn pictures, summer is the perfect chance to get outside and explore.

A boy with down syndrome bakes cakes with his sister in the kitchen

6. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep

The warmer weather and changes to your child's routine in the summer months can cause sleeping habits to suffer. Children need a different amount of sleep depending on their age, but it is important that they meet their required amount. Based on the NHS guidelines, our Parent Talk team have drawn together some of the tips and guidance to follow to ensure that your child is well rested this summer.

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