1. Eat Outside– I am so nostalgic for picnic tables and grilling. Growing up on the East Coast, my family relished being outside when we could. Meals outside bring us closer to each other and to mother nature. Eating outside is a whole new way to enjoy your meal. Make it easier by enlisting everyone’s help and get yourself a good tray to hall stuff out.
2. Play Games– Instead of hunkering down for the night in front of the tv to wind down or keeping them fired up as they run outside looking like a chain saw running out of gas, bust out some games that are fun, not over stimulating, and fit into the amount of time you had in mind. You can even make a little bet. Today I am making everyone’s beds due to the loss of UNO in last night’s match. My kids are loving it! It teaches them good sportsmanship when I can keep it positive despite the loss and through modeling behaviors.
3. Get Enough Sleep– I know summer is here and the days are longer and energy levels are higher but it is still crucial for your children to get enough sleep. Not only is it important for their developing brains, it is extremely important for having a good next day. When kids aren’t well rested, the next day can be a disaster. Or what looks like a good day can widdle down to meltdown zone by the afternoon. And then what happens to you when your children are being grouches? Yep, better to get them to bed at a decent hour.
4. Be Active– Get you and your children outside. Swim, jump, bike, hike, explore. Be mindful of how much both you and them can handle time and distance wise. If you aren’t in the greatest of shape, push you edge a bit. If you are in great shape, be mindful not to push the kids’ edge too far.
5. Spoil them with love, not stuff– The weather can make us feel good. So good we may think we have more money than we actually do and/or so good we feel like spoiling our children because it’s summer. And while all “spoiling” isn’t a bad thing, I encourage you to be mindful of your spending for not only your finances sake but for the emotional sake. Giving kids everything they want just because they want it and because you can could create a host of other behaviors like acting spoiled, ungrateful, demanding, expecting, and overall brattiness. Instead of giving stuff, spending your love, time, knowledge, and energy with them is just money in the bank for their minds and spirits.
Wishing you all a very joyful and satisfying summer. Remember, we only get them for so long. Be patient and compassionate with yourself when you are struggling. Our feelings are ever changing. Enjoy the ride!