School's out for the summer!
Backpacks have been thrown into the middle of the hallway, and they're ready for non-stop fun. You've awaited this day too ... visions of sleeping in, nag-free mornings, and evening pool time (in lieu of bath time)...
Then the reality hits -- sibling fights, whining, eating all.day.long, and the dreaded, "I'm bored"...
Summer comes in waves (pun intended), so here are my top three tips for surviving the first week (or two) of summer.
1. GIVE YOUR KIDS GRACE: They need grace. This is a transition for everyone. If adults struggle to manage their emotions in times of transition, imagine how difficult it is for kids?! They are not intentionally trying to drive you crazy -- they're balls of excitement that have been tightly wound, and all of a sudden, "WHAM!" They've come unraveled. Your job these first few days is to TEACH them how to handle excitement and sudden changes in routine. This is a life skill.
2. GIVE YOURSELF GRACE: You need grace. You don't need to turn into super-organized- summer-fun mom overnight. Your space has suddenly been invaded, so do what you need to do. Extra screen time? Why not? Let the kids "veg" for a few days. (Mine might have set a world-record for Trolls times-watched in a 3-day period.) You don't need to pack your entire summer to-do list into this week. (Spoiler alert - I'm not huge on summer to-do lists.) This week is not indicative of the rest of the summer -- it's just the first week. The way that today went does not have to be the way tomorrow goes. Set a goal, and make a change. That's another life skill.
3. COMPARE and DESPAIR: As you start planning for the rest of your summer, resist the urge to compare. You're welcome to keep browsing Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram for highlights from the most accomplished moms of summer. However, balance the social media browsing with focusing on what is most important to you and your family. Sure, you can feel down for a hot second that you can't afford Disney this year (or ever...sorry kids), but then move on. Your kids won't suffer if they can't go to every camp, or you can't pull off the swim team scene. Maybe you won't make the perfect chore chart or have your kids reading everyday. Admit your limitations and move on. That's another life skill.
You will survive this transition, and in the meantime, you're teaching your kids some very important life skills. Stay tuned for my next tips on how to thrive throughout the rest of the summer. Until then, keep it simple. Grace abounds.
PS: If you have a kid who struggles with intense emotions and changes, consider signing up for my summer coping skills group for kids ages 8-12... enrolling now! Only a couple of spots remain so contact me today for more information.