Excitement has risen in the air as the school year draws to a close and parents prepare for a long, hot summer at home, but that excitement may wane somewhat as memories of summers past run through your psyche. You remember the many times, after a frustrating day, when you wondered, “How do teachers cope with an entire class of kids like mine?”
Staying in control of yourself and your children during the chaotic times of summer will help you all look forward to and enjoy the days spent together.
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I’ve outlined six strategies to improve your mental health, increase your bond with friends, and bring a sense of order and calm to the tough days of parenthood during summer vacation.
1. Promote and encourage nap times. Nap times offer children the opportunity to recover a well-deserved rest and they offer you moments of peace. If your child is no longer napping, insist on a quiet afternoon in his room. Psychologists suggest that time allotted to reading, solving puzzles or doing activities alone restores children’s sense of security and creativity with the added benefit of teaching children how to self-soothe and manage time. only.
2. Hire a babysitter for two hours one or two days a week. Children react to parents’ feelings of overload and stress. Make sure you give yourself time alone by allowing yourself to go out of the house. Scheduling a babysitter two or three times a week is beneficial for you and your child. Your child thrives when you take care of yourself.
3. Plan a weekly outdoor activity. Plan to schedule one outdoor activity per week with your child. Discuss these opportunities and make plans. Engage each child in the selection of activities, giving them the chance to be part of the lessons the field trips teach. If the opportunity arises, allow your children to bring a friend to deepen the friendships that can be lost over the summer.
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4. Host a weekly parents’ night. When parents share the childcare burden with other parents, the opportunity to host a parent’s night out increases. Four groups of parents willing to swap supervision for a night get you a night out with the kids and three extra nights free by rotating the kids with friends. This arrangement minimizes childcare costs and connects you with other families, an important part of raising children.
5. Investigate day camps. Many day camps offer rich experiences for your children. They present your children with wonderful exposure to lifelong learning and give you a break to catch up on work or other tasks that need your attention.
6. When all else fails, call grandma. If you live near your parents, call them to arrange a play date. Most grandparents want to enjoy every moment they can with their grandkids and crave a sense of purpose in your child’s life. Staying with grandparents strengthens your child’s family values and character. Whatever your time constraints, it’s worth having someone you trust who loves and takes care of your children.
The most powerful way to stay calm is to feel connected with others who relate to your experience. It’s good for your mental health to use these strategies to free up time to share with your friends.
Every parent recognizes the joys of parenthood as well as the challenges – even if they don’t admit it outwardly.
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Summer should never be so congested that you give up on your own self-care. The well-being of your children depends on your ability to restore calm and peace within yourselves.