Are you struggling to get through the long summer season as a parent? You’re far from alone here. For many parents, the school break is a complete shock to the system. You go from your child being out of the house for most of the day to being in for upwards of six weeks. So, how can you deal with this situation and ensure that your kids don’t start to drive you around the bend or get underneath your skin? Well, there are lots of options worth exploring here. The right choice will depend on your child’s age as well as your summer budget. Are you ready to get started?
Plan Smaller Trips
It’s great if you can get your kids out of the house for a solid amount of days through the summer season. Particularly, if you are going to be at home with them a lot of the time. The good news is that you can plan small trips through the summer without spending a fortune. This can include day trips to an exciting location. Or, you might want to think about planning a weekend away. Again, this is going to depend on the money that you have available to spend.
In terms of the places that can go, you might want to think about taking a trip to a museum. A museum is a great place to have fun with the kids while also guaranteeing that they can get something useful out of the experience. Art galleries provide similar benefits but can be a little dull for younger children. So, you’ll need to think about which option will be right for your kids.
If you are thinking about heading on a weekend trip, you can consider heading camping. Camping can be a great time for kids of all ages. It will also provide you with the opportunity to reconnect with your child and separate them from their various pieces of technology.
Take A Long Trip
If you have the money in your budget, then you could also think about taking them on a longer trip away. There are lots of examples to consider here. For instance, you might want to go to a place like Disney World. Disney World is widely considered to be one of the best vacation locations on earth for children. You just need to be prepared for the queues, the crowds, and of course, the heat. This won’t stop it being a magical experience. You just need to make sure that you know the best ways to handle the crowds and thus avoid the stress. Disney does have a fastpass solution available at a premium. It’s just a case of fitting an option like this into your budget.
If you want a situation like this, then you can think about going somewhere that will be less crowded for a beach vacation. This is also one of the best ways to save money and ensure that costs remain under control through the summer. Don’t forget, there are other ways to save on a trip like this too. For instance, you might want to think about booking early on. You can book a holiday as much as a year in advance and gain great savings.
Keep Them Thinking About School
It’s also worth thinking about the education drought. The education drought is what teachers call the phenomenon where children seem to forget everything that they learned in school during the previous term. It’s quite startling and essentially leaves kids back to square one for the first couple of weeks after they return from school.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to avoid this type of issue. For instance, you might want to think about using free math worksheets that are available to download online. Options like this will ensure that kids can keep learning through the summer months and ensure that their mind isn’t a blank slate when they return to school. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it here. The last thing you need is for your kids to be stressed because they aren’t getting a break through the summer. An hour every couple of days will be more than enough.
You could also think about encouraging them to read a book each couple weeks of the summer vacation. Or, you might want to recommend they keep a diary for their different trips and activities.
Encourage Them To Go Outside
We also think that it’s important to mention that you need to encourage your kids to go outside. Fresh air is good for them, and they don’t want to be stuck inside the house all day if you can help it. Even if this means running around in the garden and playing games out there, it’s better than being on the couch and flicking through Netflix to see what new show has been released. Ideally, your kids should be getting out of the house everyday, whether this is to go to the park, or the store doesn’t really matter. Being outside is good for your mental and phsyical health, so you’ve got to ensure that they are getting out and about.
The last thing that you want is your children to turn into couch potatoes over the summer break. When they are at school, there are sports clubs that they can take part in, and they partake in gym classes in their everyday activities. However, when they are at home, these are no longer readily available to them like they are during the semester. This means that it’s up to you to get them out of the house, or even taking up fitness activities inside the house. For example, if they don’t want to head out on a run, they can take up yoga in the living room using videos found on YouTube.
The best way to encourage them to get into fitness activities is to get involved with them yourself. Take your kids out on a hike up a mountain as this is fun and good for you. Go for a long walk to the park and then play on the equipment with them. It doesn’t have to be complicated or boring, you just need to get them moving so that they are not stuck in front of their consoles all day.
Get Extra Support
Extra support is one of those things that brings on the parent guilt. You feel as though you should be able to do it all on your own. You feel as though you should not have to rely on someone else to take care of your kids for a little while. You feel as though as their parents it should all fall squarely on your shoulders. None of these staements are true, and we know that feeling them is not a conscious choice. However, you need to dispel these thoughts from your mind becuase it takes a village to raise a kid as the old expression goes, so you should never feel bad for leaning on those closest to you.
This might come in the form of your friends or family members who can look after your kids some days, or overnight when you really need a break. It might come in the form of summer schools and activity camps that you can attend. There is nothing wrong with sending your kids to these camps, as it gets them out of the house and moving, and is less stressful for you.
Get Your Me Time
Throughout the summer, the me time is going to be few and far between which is not going to be good for your mental health. A lot of people don’t seem to understand that just because you are a parent, doesn’t mean that you aren’t also your own individual person who has basic needs like everyone else. We spend so long looking after the needs of others, ensuring that everyone has what they need, and making sure that everyone else is happy that we often forget to look after ourselves in this way. The problem here is that it leads to burnout, and when your kids are home all summer and you’re trying to work, you don’t really have the time for this.
As such, you have got to make sure that you are getting in the me time. This might be something as simple as taking a relaxing bath while your kids are watching TV nicely, or it might be going out on a shopping day to buy yourself something nice. No matter what you consider relaxing, you need to make time for it. Having time for yourself is essential if you don’t want to implode, so ensure that you are doing what you have to do to get this in your life.
Hopefully, you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do to deal with the long summer season when you are a parent. We know that one thing parents want is to spend more time with their children, but when the summer comes around and you have to balance work with your kids, this can become extremely difficult. Hopefully now you have some ideas of the things that you can be doing with your kids through this time, and are already planning some of the days of the holiday already. You’ve got this, just hang in there.