Inside: Summer break with kids should be fun and exciting, but it can also be tiring and overwhelming. Here are 6 tips to thrive during summer!
Here it is, the last day of school for my kids.
I’m always downright gleeful at the end of the school year.
I dream of slow summer days with my boys. I imagine us enjoying time in the sun, water parks, picnics, and lots of downtime to just “hang”.
But the truth is that after a few weeks, I’m over it.
I always seem to forget that summer is messy.
And I’m not talking about sand in the toes, dirt on your hands kind of messy.
I’m talking about the kind of messy where you lose your mind because of the lack of quiet alone time, sibling squabbles, and bored kids who want you to constantly entertain them.
Yes, a lot of summertime is magical, but there’s also a very big frustrating side.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I do enjoy spending time with them, but this Mama can only handle so much noise and commotion before I get overwhelmed and ragy.
I know we only get 18 summers with our kids and I do want summer to be magical.
But, let’s be realistic here, no summer is going to be magical ALL the time.
In order to survive summer and make it wonderful, it’s all about being prepared for the amazing times and the…ahem…not so amazing times.
After a rough summer a few years ago, last summer I made a plan and got my expectations in check.
Amazingly enough, it turned out to be a great summer.
So take it from a Mom who’s been there…here’s how to create a fun summer without losing your ever-lovin’ mind.
Plan Out Adventures…and Down Time.
It’s summer, time for adventures and FUN.
Sit down with your family and plan out your cool summer adventures. Create a Summer Bucket List, decide what everyone wants to do, and get everything onto a calendar.
But don’t forget to plan out downtime. Everyone needs some space in their days to relax and be bored.
You need some quiet time without kids calling your name every second, and your kids need time to be bored to learn independence to and to get their creative juices flowing.
“But Mom! I’m Bored”
Are you ready to hear that bazillion time a day?
This is the worst!
Sure, there’s screen time, but too much of it can cause irritable and frustrated kids. Plus, it’s SUMMER. It’s time for running around barefoot in the grass, building forts, and creating memories that last a lifetime.
So, let your kids be bored.
Don’t feel like you have to entertain your children all the time. It’s good for kids to be bored, that’s how they learn to be creative and a wandering mind is a GREAT thing.
When you hear the inevitable words “Mom, I’m bored,” instead of listing off 1000 activities that your child could do and hearing “but…I don’t want to do that” in the whiniest voice ever, respond with…
- “Oh, I love being bored, I can’t wait to see what you end up doing.”
- “That must be rough, but I trust that you can find something to do.
- “This sounds like it’s a great time to go spend some time with yourself and come up with something new.”
When you hear the “I’m bored” complaint, hand your child the jar and tell him to pick 3 pieces of paper out of the jar and pick one to do.
Everyone Does Chores
It’s amazing how dishes, laundry, and clutter pile up over the summer with everyone home all day.
There’s just so much more to do, with less time to do them because of all the fun adventures during the day.
But, the good thing is that there are more hands to help with the chores. Find a summer chore system that works for you and your family and get the kids to help.
Examples of Chore Systems:
It doesn’t have to be boring though, turn up the tunes, give everyone a rag, and have a dusting dance party.
Use the All-Powerful Play Date
Get together with a friend and plan play dates. Drop off your kids at a friend’s house, and in exchange, she can drop her kids off with you another afternoon.
This way you’ll get some free time to run kid-free errands. When the kids are with you, they will more than likely entertain each other so you can get some of that work done that’s been piling up around the house.
It’s a win-win.
Prepare for Meltdowns, Because There will be Meltdowns
Summer is FUN! It means full days spent out in the sun playing, running, and melting in the heat.
But fun-filled days often end in either a child melting down, the parent losing their cool, or usually…both.
Long days mean you and your kids end up physically and emotionally drained. So, it’s not uncommon for parents to end up yelling, and for kids to end up crying.
Hey, it happens to the best of us.
In order to stop the Summertime Meltdowns, we must be prepared for them.
Yes, summer is fun. But the Summertime Meltdowns aren’t.
Summer Should Be Amazing
And it can be.
These few tips only scratch the surface of how to really make a summer amazing.
I’ve put together a book of 17 printable pages that will arm you with everything you need for the summer with your kids.
Create a summer where you can…
It is possible to create a great summer filled with amazing memories.
This simple yet powerful handbook saved my sanity! I used every single page in this book. In particular, the daily quiet time, the “I’m Bored” jar, and the bucket list kept our days stress-free and we had a blast. I’m actually looking forward to next summer now – this was seriously our best summer ever! –Jadie
Pick up your copy today and start planning the most epic summer ever.