Summer Holiday Survival Skills!
I'm not one of the parents who has everything in control, I don't have manicured nails, a perfect lawn, flower beds with no weeds or a kitchen that doesn't have a rather odd smell coming from somewhere that I haven't quite located yet. My children sometimes look like not only did they get dressed in the dark, but it was from clothes that were either in the donate pile, or more likely the wash box or the ironing pile.
So, now that I've established once and for all that I'm normal and hopefully a little like you let me explain a few Summer Holiday Survival Skills, that I think all Parents should become masters in, so that they can not only survive the Summer Holiday period, but come out smiling at the other end of it too!
Keep a Routine
Our routine changes a little in the holidays. The children are allowed to stay up a little later, the TV rules relax, there is an extra hour console playing time on the days we allow console play and maybe once or twice we won't bother getting out of our PJ's before lunch but the overarching routine is there.
The children are still expected to get up so that we can breakfast together, we go for a daily walk (even if it is just round the garden), we spend twenty minutes a day reading together, we spend time doing chores and of course we ensure that we brush our teeth, floss and rinse.
The routines help everyone remember that whilst the Summer Holidays are to relax, we also have rules and routines for a reason. We like Society not to collapse.
Write It Down
Honestly, the simple act of having the week planned out helps you not to have to answer the same question 73 times. If you're planning on doing something in a particular week then schedule it. This way you won't double book, you won't forget and the children can count down themselves.
Also, having it written down means you know to budget appropriately and you can ensure that you have the right meals for busy nights etc.
Limit Electronic Time
In our home we have a rule about the amount of time we can use the consoles and how long before we can spend in one go (thirty minutes in one go for a total of two hours each day we allow electronics during the Summer).
We also have a rule on how long we are allowed to watch TV (family movies and Cinema time doesn't count) and we've even set up rules about how long we have to listen to certain music choices before we're allowed to pick another option. There is only so much of the Minecraft parody song playlist that the children created that I can take.
Take Time Out
Even if it is just having a super long shower or hiding in the garden for twenty minutes, take some time out for you each day and encourage the children to do the same if appropriate. If they are young, maybe encourage them to have a nap, or read a few picture books. As they get older encourage them to write in a diary or meditate, or even hide in the garden or have a super long shower if that is there thing!
Everyone needs some time to stop and appreciate what they have and even if they don't have everything that they might want, with our family around us we do normally have everything we need.
And just remember when everything seems to be getting too much, the Summer Holidays is a time to relax and enjoy time together in a way that isn't normally possible, so take a deep breath, relax and enjoy!