Welp, whether you're a parent of a school-aged kid or are in school yourself, you made it! (Or almost did...a couple more days, Baltimore City folks!) This obviously creates lots of home routine changes for many families. Are you relieved to have more downtime (or at least your children will) or feeling stressed about keeping your kiddos entertained this summer? Are you feeling wistful about watching your child finish another grade and prepare to move on? It can feel bittersweet for so many reasons. (I bet many of you can relate to this article). I'd love to hear how you're feeling and what you're planning in this transition time of preparing for freedom. Here are some thoughts on making the most of your summer:
1. Keep some sense of structure and routine. We ALL need this, not just our kids. I love this study that exemplifies why boundaries, expectations and structure are not just necessary, they actually help our kids thrive! This also helps parents keep some sense of control over our days, and let's be honest, no one wants to feel out of control in your own home.
2. Don't over-schedule your structure. This may seem counter-intuitive to #1, but listen up. You can have structure AND balance. You do not need to take your kids to every exciting event or activity that comes up this summer. Read that sentence again. For some reason, there is this cultural phenomenon that the more "events" we take our kids to, the better we are doing at parenting. And I am hear to tell you that is just not true. While, I love taking my kids exciting places like the aquarium and the science center, I have also come to realize that some of our best days are running in yard, playing play dough or just hanging at home. (Not all the time, because we do need to get out). But everything doesn't have to be a production. Allow some space to just play this summer. Don't believe me? Check out this article.
3. Give yourself some downtime. If your schedule changes with your kids' in the summer and you're going to be spending more time with them than you normally do, you might need some extra space too. Swap out babysitting with a friend or neighbor or ask your partner to take over and go do something alone, when you can. Make sure you build in some ways to take care of yourself, so that you can take care of everyone else well. It's also a good idea to take stock of what went well this "year" and what you'd like to change next school year. (See my post, "It's a brand new year" from 1/1/18 for more tips on reassessing goals for a new year).
Keeping to the theme of not going overboard-I'm going to keep it to those 3 points. Enjoy your summer and take it easy! And if you are looking for ideas of things to do, Cool Progeny is always a great resource.