Congratulations parents! You have made it through another school year. Summer is here and it is time to relax.....or is it?
Summer camps, sleepovers, pool time, staying up late, sweet treats. While summer is supposed to be a time of leisure days, it can also be a time of stress for some families.
Kids can get overloaded from doing fun things just as much as they can get overloaded from too much work and activities during the school year. Not only can does ice cream melt on hot day days but children can melt down as well!
Here are some ideas on how to keep kids and parents from avoiding the meltdown and creating a summer of fun.
1. Keep bedtime on a regular schedule-most of the time. Kids need lots of sleep to function. You know how it feels when you are sleep deprived. Kids fare worse. Certainly there will be nights you have fun things planned so try to get them back on schedule as soon as possible.
2. Plan fun time and downtime. Kids need time to unwind. If you have a really busy day, plan a little less the next. If you are on vacation, plan some quiet time allowing for kids to rest and rejuvenate.
3. Transitions for some children are really tough. If this is the case, it may good to make a loose schedule for your child, meaning keeping a morning routine and a bedtime routine when possible. Some children benefit from having it written out or pictures to represent what is happening that day.
4. Eat well. Summer time can create a time for sweets overload. Ice cream, popsicles, candy, chips, cookies, you name it. Be mindful of what your children are eating throughout the day and balance it with healthy options.
5. Remember, parenting needs to be kid focused. I know we have get togethers with our friends where we want to stay up late and enjoy “our” time. This is all good but be mindful of what your children are needing.
6. Take some adult time. We end up being better parents when we take some time away to connect with other adults.
May time move slow in the moments I want to hold onto.
Sierra Dator is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCS23317) with a psychotherapy office in Petaluma providing counseling to youth, adults, and families in group and individual sessions. Please visit www.sierradator.com for more information about Sierra and her services.