Summer Vacation Is On It’s Way!
Children are counting down the days and parents are maybe counting them in other ways. What will I do with the kids all summer? Yes, even the FUN things, can be stressful. The heat, the sun and the high expecations can leave parents and caregivers feeling worn down, burnt out and simply not “good enough”.
Guess what…feeling that way is totally normal
It’s totally normal to feel that way and we meet with parents all the time who are challenged by their schedule free summers! All you really need to focus is on what does your child REALLY need this summer?
It’s simple, they just need MEANINGFUL CONNECTION. Meaningful connection with you and with others in your circle.
Does that mean taking the summer off and tending to their every need or planning extravagant holidays- NO. OF COURSE NOT. It means taking some time to slow down, join in the flow of their life and experience the simple things and wonders that children see and are.
Four Tips for Creating Meaningful Connection This Summer
- Take some time to chat and listen to what your children LOVE about summer. Splash pads, catching bugs, play dates, ice crea m. Take the time to listen and share in the memories of summers past and even look at some pictures to see where JOY lived. When you hear it and see it, its easier to create it again .
- Start some kind of simple tradition. Something special that is just for your family . Think of this as a way to kick off summer. Keep it simple. We love the tradition of ice cream on the last day of school or a picnic dinner on the first day of summer holidays. Tradition instills security and builds connective memories which is so important for children.
- SLOW DOWN- Summer can come with pressure to “MAKE IT AMAZING”. Packing too much in often causes more stress, wears us all down and takes away from the connection and JOY! Plans are great, but so is the simplicity of seeing where the day takes you. Our children’s lives are filled with schedule and structure. Daycare, school, activities and all of that fun stuff keep us on our toes all year long. Embrace the idea of being free. The free days will help the whole family take a breath, relax and really relish in the moment.
- Parents, this one is for you, be gentle with yourselves. You are doing an amazing JOB. Don’t feel you have to do it all or have an epic summer bucket list. Connection lies in the everyday moments. It ‘ s quality over quantity. If you are working this summer and the kids are at camp, that’s great. If you are home all summer, that’s great. If you are a mix of both, that’s great. Their isn’t a right or a wrong. Give youself permission to not get it all right and be gentle with yourself when you have that frazzled beach parent melt down- you are human!
Summer is a chance to change routine and is an opportunity to grow as a family and to grow your relationships with your kids. It’s so much more than just going out and having fun and connection can be SIMPLE. Think back to some of your fond summer memories and maybe share and try it out with your littles. Get out and move and be together. Watch the clouds and eat the ice cream and run through that sprinkle with them. Listen for words of “ would you like to play with me” and try to say yes a time or two this summer- it will be well worth your investment!
And PS- your doing a great job- try to quiet that parent guilt! Take good care and check back in for some more tips, our Summer Connection Guide is coming soon and you won’t want to miss it!
Sara, Kara + Melissa
Your Growing Roots Team