“Summer Challenge One: Transitioning to Summer”
Alongside our children, we wait all year for summer. Yet transitioning from school to summer can be a challenge for parents and children alike. The schedule has changed; the weather is warm; expectations are high; and there is a new dynamic in the house. It always seems like we need a few days to find a new equilibrium once school is out. Each family and family member needs to regroup and adapt.
As I thought of this today, I reminded myself of how this occurs each summer. All in all, we seem to come out on the right side of things even though the transition isn’t always picture smooth. We maintain a homeostasis and establish a new routine. When I researched this online, many articles and blogs had good thoughts on the concept. In pulling from these ideas, these were what I liked best.
- Lay low for a few days or a week. In this instant, social media driven, Pinterest world, we seem to want to rush to create, spend, and have the fabulous summer being advertised to us by friends, Pinterest, and perhaps our own high desires and expectations for the season. While it is nice to have a plan, it is also good not to force too much and plan too much, too soon or acroos summer. I aim to spend summer at our own pace. It may not match yours, but it fits the needs of our family.
- Establish your summer routine. While it is good to loosen up and not be scheduled out for summer, children do need a routine. In fact they thrive on it! It is the constancy that helps children know what comes next. As summer gets under way, I am going to try to lay this out for children so visually and also verbally to ease our transition.
- Put aside your to-do list at least some of the time. We all have them, but our tasks aren’t going anywhere. Yet before we know it, our children are. Take time to enjoy them more this summer!
- Summer is a wonderful time to be outdoors. Stock up on the sunblock and bug spray and get your children outside! Outdoor time is beneficial to every component of health and learning.
- Balance active time with quiet time during your day. This can help balance everyone’s needs in the house for activity, rest, and peace of mind. Quiet time is a wonderful time to read and fight summer slide.
- Band with other parents for support. Continue to do the things you normally do to take of your health and needs for well-being.
- Make use of community resources: recreation programs, the library, and other local programs for free or low cost family fun and stimulation.
- As you do your tasks throughout the day, engage your children to help. Outside of their regular chores, this is a way to learn other things and connect one-on-one with you.
- Summer is short and so is childhood. Find ways to savor both!