June 2022

The Schedule that Saved our Summer

We love summer vacation! The possibilities are endless, and our bucket lists are always full. Unfortunately, operating without a summer schedule often leads to either overcommitting ourselves or spending so much time relaxing that we miss out on great opportunities and adventures.

When the boys were younger, I was determined to make the most of summer break without overwhelming myself in the process. Each year we brainstormed a bucket list and used it to create a basic summer schedule. It gave us structure while still allowing plenty of freedom to enjoy ourselves. In short, it saved our summers!

If you feel like your summer fun could use a little structure, try using a calendar like this. Need some ideas to fill in the blanks? Let me share a few of our favorites.


Make-It Monday

Kick off your week with a craft or science experiment. This doesn’t need to be an all-day project–even 15 minutes of quality time together on a project can have a great impact on your relationship. The idea is to simply provide a framework for the many fun things we want to fit into our time off.

Let’s brainstorm

  • Collect leaves, flowers, etc., then iron between two sheets of wax paper (Make sure to cover with a dish towel first.) Display in a window, cut into bookmarks, or use as placemats!
  • Make a volcano with baking soda and vinegar.
  • Go strawberry picking & make homemade jam.

Trip Tuesday

No PJs today! Let’s get out of the house! But don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun. We love going on free or low-cost field trips.

Let’s brainstorm

  • Hike
  • Bike ride
  • Park
  • Library
  • Free park concerts
  • Bowling (Look into free summer bowling programs for kids)
  • Look for local factories that give tours (Our kids loved watching how cheese is made last summer)
  • Mini-golf
  • Movie theaters (Many theaters have free or low-cost movies once a week through the summer)

Working Wednesday

Summer is fun, but chores still need to be done. Today we can catch up on messy rooms, laundry, grocery shopping, and whatever other chores might fall behind during summer fun. This is a great time to break out chore charts.

Thoughtful Thursday

Today we take the focus off of ourselves by doing something kind for someone else. Again, the summer schedule doesn’t have to take up your whole day. We intentionally make time for the things important to us while allowing plenty of freedom and play time.

Let’s brainstorm

  • Make dinner for a friend
  • Pick flowers and deliver them to a neighbor
  • Write a note of encouragement to someone you’re thankful for
  • Have the kids think of other ideas to be thoughtful

Friend Friday

Kids miss their friends when school is out. Once a week, open your home and let them connect with their pals. If you’re feeling ambitious, put on a pot of coffee and invite the moms to stay and chat, too. This is a great opportunity to expand your own tribe while letting the kids play.

Let’s brainstorm

  • Get out the sprinkler
  • Have a water balloon toss
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Beat the heat (or the rain) with an indoor movie or board game

This year, create a summer schedule full of fun that also allows plenty of breathing room. Go enjoy your kids before you put them back on that school bus this fall!



5 Ways to Give Your Kids a Mentally Healthy Summer

My kids walked in the front door, threw their backpacks in the corner, and plopped down on the couch. I smirked when I heard the little one say, “My brain is officially off the clock!” Considering the year our kids had, I couldn’t blame him. I always loved the freedom of summer vacation, even without the stress of a pandemic.

Meanwhile, a friend said her kickoff to summer was less celebratory. Her daughter cried on the way home from school. She started asking when she’d see her friends again and what she would be eating for lunch every day. I didn’t realize until then the anxiety some kids feel when their school routine is taken from them. The good news is, whether they’re recovering from a stressful school year or dealing with summer anxiety, there are simple ways to give your kids a mentally healthy summer. Try these 5.

1. Limit the number of transitions.

Every summer as a kid, my mom signed me up for a summer enrichment program. I dreaded the first few days and was always nervous about making friends. Fortunately, the program was four weeks long, so I only had to endure the awkward transition once. Finding a longer camp or a few camps all at the same location instead of several short ones here and there will help a child who’s anxious about being social over the summer.

2. Make and post a plan.

One of the best ways to give your kids a mentally healthy summer is to set a loose schedule. Our Schedule That Saved My Summer calendar is a great guide to working in all different types of activities (and downtime). If your kids are attending camps or hanging at friends’ houses during the day while you work, print and post a calendar that will help them get their bearings and track the days.

3. Get a preview.

A study out of Harvard Medical School found three types of summer anxiety in kids: separation anxiety, social anxiety, and specific phobias, like thunderstorms. If your child has one of the first two, consider taking him or her in advance to see the field or building where your kids are going to camp. Just seeing the building he or she will be hanging out in for the week can help alleviate some fears. A lot of unknowns can be cleared up with a simple visit.

4. Set limits on screen time.

My older son would be content to play on screens all summer and only break for the bathroom and a bowl of goldfish. As much as allowing a child to be a couch potato feels like a great way to relieve stress, it’s not going to lead to a mentally healthy summer. Sure, loosen the reins on screen time a bit, but keep limits in place and try a no-electronics day once per week.

5. Plant seeds that will grow in the fall.

My son was upset the night before he left for away camp a few years ago. He said he’d changed his mind about going, but I knew he was just nervous. Fast-forward two weeks, and he couldn’t stop talking about how much he loved being at camp. I told him I was glad he didn’t let his nerves hold him back. You can give your kids a mentally healthy summer by pointing out ways they’re maturing or showing courage. Come fall, the seeds you’ve planted will sprout in ways that will help with challenges in school like trying out for the band or approaching a teacher with a question.




Family events, kids activities and parenting resources in the Charlotte area!  Fun 4 Charlotte Kids is a local resource for family friendly events and activities in Charlotte and surrounding areas. Listings include kids events, children programs and classes, youth sports, kids eat free directory, birthday party resources, rainy day activities, free fun for kids, summer camps and MORE fun things for kids and families to do in and around Charlotte.  All listed activities are free!    https://fun4charlottekids.com/


Surrounding areas include: Charlotte, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Pineville and Stallings.





2 New FREE Classes!
The Power Of Routines:  Summer Edition 

What you will learn:

  • Why Routines are so important to children?
  • 5 Routines your summer needs
  • What happens to behavior when routines are changed
  • How to create and implement a Summer Routine and still have fun
  • Roadblocks to Routine Success 
  • How you can learn more about Positive Parenting! 

This class is interactive and experiential. Please be prepared to participate. 

Date: Sunday, June 12, 2022
Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Location: Online via Zoom
Registration Deadline, Thursday, June 9th

The Power Of Routines:  Back to School Edition 

What you will learn:

  • Why Routines are so important to children?
  • What happens to behavior when routines are changed
  • How and When to shift gears to a new routine
  • 5 new routines to get your Children ready to start school
  • Roadblocks to Routine Success 
  • How you can learn more about Positive Parenting! 

This class is interactive and experiential. Please be prepared to participate. I will send you an email prior to class with useful tools and tips as well as material for our activities.

Date: Sunday, August 14, 2022
Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Location: Online via Zoom
Registration Deadline Thursday, August 11th

  Register Now! Power of Routines: Back to School Edition

FREE Introduction to Positive Parenting Class

What you will learn:

  • What is Positive Parenting and Positive Discipline?
  • 5 Criteria for Positive Discipline 
  • Where we are & where we want to go with our children and learn the most important parenting tool! 
  • Positive Discipline Tool Exploration 
  • How you can learn more! 

This class is interactive and experiential. Please be prepared to participate. I will send you an email prior to class with useful tools and tips as well as material for our activities.


 June Class
​Date: Tuesday,  June 21, 2022
Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm EST
Location: Online via Zoom

Registration Deadline is Saturday, June 18, 2022 and will be limited to the first 24 participants.
July Class
​Date: Thursday,  July 14, 2022
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm EST
Location: Online via Zoom
Registration Deadline is Monday, July 11, 2022 and will be limited to the first 24 participants.
August Class
​Date: Tuesday,  August 9, 2022
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Location: Online via Zoom
Registration Deadline is Saturday, August 6, 2022 and will be limited to the first 24 participants.

Positive Parenting Bootcamp - 3 Day Course
2 Sessions for the summer...

Join parents & caregivers like you for 3 Days of Positive Discipline classes taught by Melissa Middelthon. Based on Jane Nelsen's Positive Discipline books, you will learn to discipline with firmness and kindness. Have fun with kids and set the foundation for important social and life skills. Help children feel a sense of belonging and significance through mutual respect and encouragement. These classes are a fun way to connect with other parents in the community and practice the skills over a few weeks so that you can go more in-depth with the material.


"The class was very helpful in reducing stress and frustration in parenting. The knowledge that it is never too late to change your approach...we are so adaptable." 

"Taking this class was one of the best things I've done for myself and my family since my child was born. I refer back to the class's concepts in order to deal with day-to-day issues and also feel like I have an overarching philosophy to help me as I navigate the parenting world."


A course for parents and caregivers

 Based on the best-selling Positive Discipline parenting books by Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott and others, parents and caregivers will learn long ­term solutions for raising kids to feel “I am capable, I can contribute, and I can use my personal power in useful ways to improve my life and the lives of others!” Positive Discipline teaches long ­term parenting skills that will encourage children to think for themselves, become more responsible and have a greater respect for themselves and others. Feel supported while learning some non­-punitive, respectful methods that will incorporate kindness and firmness into your relationship with your children. Get to the core of your children's misbehavior, practice encouraging tools and gain a sense of accomplishment.

This is a highly engaging ONLINE course that works best if you can participate on a computer or tablet. We will be co-creating a safe and supportive space that will include a mix of lecture, small and large group activities, role play and collaboration. 

Course Registration: $150 


Pricing includes one digital set of all materials needed for the course:  Positive Discipline, by Jane Nelsen, The Positive Discipline Workbook, Parenting Tool cards, and bonus access to videos of key lessons and a Family Meeting Album.


Weekday Summer Session:

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 19-21 9am - 11am EST

Register Now: Positive Parenting Bootcamp -3 Day Course (Part 1) - July 19-21 2022

Class Min 8 / Max 24 - Registration Deadline is Thursday, July 14th

Weekend Summer Session:

Friday, July 29th 7-9pm and Saturday & Sunday July 30th and 31st 3-5pm EST

Register Now: Positive Parenting Weekend Bootcamp -3 Day Course (Part 1) - July 29-31

Class Min 8 / Max 24 - Registration Deadline is Friday, July 22nd