Creating the Summer You and the Kids Want
School’s out and kids are ready for summer!
Are you as excited as they are?
Summer break allows kids the opportunity to be more carefree and creative, however, it can mean more work for parents. As much as we may love the idea of the kids home all summer, it can also feel like a weight on our shoulders at times.
So how do you balance what YOU would like your summer to be with what THEY want?
Here are 5 tips for creating a harmonious season that you can all cherish!
1. Define what everyone wants.
Your goals for the summer may look very different from the kids’ but that doesn’t mean they can’t be intertwined.
Organize a family meeting where everyone shares:
- what they want the summer to be like
- anything they’d like to learn (like fishing, origami, or a musical instrument)
- books they’d like to read (on their own or together as a family)
- activities they’d like to do (such as swimming, going to a baseball game, or meeting up with friends at a park)
Also think about what you need as a parent. Is it quiet-time before bed, help doing the laundry, a night out with friends, or ordering take out sometimes? Your needs are just as important as theirs so don’t feel shame for sharing and asking for help.
2. Prioritize rest and relaxation – however that looks.
Both you and the kids have been working hard over the past year and summer is a time to bring stress levels down and simply take a break.
Downtime for kids allows space to be creative and the opportunity to develop a sense-of-self – don’t underestimate it!
Simultaneously, adults that take a rest from the chaos can balance mood, reduce inflammation, sleep better, and experience more joy.
Make time for activities that help unwind – knowing that it may look different for everyone.
Here are a few examples:
- having breakfast outside
- spending a morning or afternoon at a swim beach
- going for a family bike ride or hike
- having a movie marathon
- reading together before bed
- painting, coloring, or drawing
- family game night
3. Let go of high expectations.
Hand in hand with prioritizing rest and relaxation is letting go of unhealthy expectations such as, but not limited to:
- having a clean house 24/7
- cooking every single meal
- strict bedtimes every night
- sticking to a rigid schedule
Now for some, a planned day and night is helpful and necessary, but for many, releasing the expectation of needing to do it all can be freeing, less stressful, and better for your body and mind.
4. Set boundaries and engage.
What do you do if your kids just want to play on electronics all day?
Many kids are unable to self-regulate when it comes to electronics (even many adults have this challenge), fostering the need for frequent technological stimulation.
This can lead to everything from behavioral issues to mental health conditions so monitoring technology can be helpful to kids, even if they don’t think so.
Setting boundaries of how much time is allowed is one way to handle limited use of electronics, but also:
- be a role model and reduce your own electronic exposure
- get outside with them (nature is the balance to technology)
- play catch, go for a bike ride, or enjoy a walk together
- create a healthy reward system in which they can earn technology time
- have music on instead of a television show
- shut off all electronics during meal times and after dinner
5. Make time for play and grow your relationship.
Most importantly over summer break is the relationship that is cultivated between you and your kids. Will you do things to make it stronger or weaker?
Think about how you have fun together and give those things precedence when you can.
Summer break is short and before you know it, it’s back to school. How do you want to fill these few months?
For many parents, stress can put a halt on truly enjoying time with children. For stress reduction and management, please call us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves, acupuncture, cupping, massage, or holistic counseling.
Naturopathic medicine is here to help you get the most out of your summer feeling the best you can.
The CNMA office provides naturopathic care, acupuncture, testing, massage, and holistic counseling to those in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, and the greater Denver metro area. For those outside of these areas, virtual appointments are available.