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10 Best Summer Survival Skills for Parents

10 Best Summer Survival Skills for Parents

A sane guide for the entire family.

by

As a parent, I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love the lack of structure and but at times find it daunting. Here are my 10 Best Summer Survival Skills for Parents

  1. Schedule: Summer time lends itself to spontaneity, but as parents we still need to maintain a bit of structure. Kids do better when they have a routine. It’s best if mealtime, screen time, bath time, outdoor/indoor activities are built into a set schedule. There is still plenty of room for flexibility, you can make bedtime later, but still have a bedtime.

  2. Keep your expectations in check: Many times we have lofty goals for the summer. The kids will finally stop fighting, we are going to paint and clean out the garage. We get so disappointed when we don't achieve anything we have set our hearts on. Make more realistic goals. Be happy when your kids are peaceful for 10 minutes a day instead of the whole summer. Be glad if clean that one shelf in the garage. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do and you and your kids will be much happier.

  3. Emergency Kit: Try to have everything you need stocked and ready to go: towels, sunscreens, waters, hats, snacks etc. Stock up on some arts and crafts supplies, and make sure your sprinkler is in working order. It will save you the time and energy that you will need to take care of your kids.

  4. Plan your menu: We are often on the go during the summer and then 4 o’clock comes around and we have nothing to serve our hungry brood for dinner. Simple meals are essential. Use your grill and make sure to have a lot of noodles on hand. It is best to have a simple weekly menu to refer to, as well as a standard shopping list. It will make your summer cooking a breeze.

  5. No unsuitable activities for kids: It seems that kids meltdown and tantrum more during the summer. It can be because of the lack of sleep, their meal times are off and the heat. To prevent tantrums, try not to take your kids on one more errand at the end of a long day. Don't take them to places where they may be unsuccessful, fancy restaurants, loud and noisy amusement parks, or to a museum that is not age appropriate. Make an effort to research activities that you know will work for your family according to their age and temperament. This leads me to the next tip:

  6. Know your family’s personality: Plan your summer activities taking into consideration your personality and your family’s personalities as well. Some questions to ask yourself are: Am I a morning person or evening person? When do I have the most energy? Do I like a fast, busy schedule or a slow, easy schedule? Do I mind crowds? Do I like being out in nature? Once you figure yourself out, then think about your spouse and kids, under what conditions do they work best? Then try to plan your schedule accordingly.

  7. Quiet time: Everyone can benefit from a bit of alone time, especially parents. It is beneficial for everyone to retire to their rooms with a book or a quiet toy for a half hour or hour everyday. One mom put together a special box with toys for her kids that they were only allowed to use during quiet time. It is a great way for everyone to recharge.

  8. Get a handle on sibling rivalry: Families often spend a lot of time together in the summer, which means that there is often lots of fighting. Try to figure out the times where your children are more prone to squabble. Is it when they are in the car? Video time? At dinner. When you have that figured out, ask your kids, “I know there seems to be a lot of fighting when we get into the car. How can we keep the peace when we are driving?” Kids can come up with some great ideas that really work for them.

  9. Real summer homework: Many times kids have academic work that they need to complete over the summer. We don't want our kids to lose the skills that they have gained throughout the year. However, learning can be done is so many ways, reading books, museums, and being out in nature. Many kids who stress about school, blossom during the summer. It is best if we can find activities that interest our struggling students and help them shine.

  10. Get a babysitter: Spending all your time with your kids can be tiring. Everyone needs a bit of adult time or alone time. Hire a babysitter, and treat yourself to a night out or even go to the grocery store alone. You will be glad you did.

July 11, 2015

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 2

(2) Anonymous, July 16, 2015 8:37 PM

This is amazing...very real and practical. Totally relate to it..Thank you

(1) Dvirah, July 16, 2015 4:20 PM

Planning

About point 6 - why not have a family meeting? Be prepared by having a list of activities or summer schedule to offer, but then be flexible and let everyone decide together. People (kids especially) are more likely to be cooperative if they feel they contributed to the decisions. If there are disagreements, everyone can have a set time to make their point, after which a vote is held. And once a decision is made, it should be final, or you'll be arguing all summer.

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