Blimey… school’s out for summer.
Sunshine or not, the summer months can introduce an extra layer of challenge for some families. Fear not, you’re in good company here – we can do this!
Whether you’re back in the office, embracing hybrid working or whatever you’ve been doing school and work wise, I think it’s important that we change the routine a bit for the holidays. It helps both parents and carers and our children to know and ‘feel’ the difference between school time and holidays.
Like many, I’m working from home (which is my usual) but I do change things up a bit in the holidays so that I can spend time with my son. Although, spending time with his mother is not always his first choice!
Here are some ideas to help ease you into and through the summer holidays.
10 summer hols top tips
1. Have a plan
If you have a plan of what you’re going to do it takes away lots of the stress. Of course, the plan will depend on what works for your child. No two plans will be the same and where your children have differing needs, that does make it a bit hard to plan… but arguably more important.
2. Put a schedule up on the wall
I draw out the week on a piece of paper and then put into each day what we are doing. Our schedule doesn’t have loads of detail as my son doesn’t need that now but having it up helps him know what’s happening when. I put the whole holiday schedule up a few days before term ends so he can see everything that’s already planned. That much detail or advance notice doesn’t work for everyone, so do what works for you.
3. Plan in your self-care
It might be as simple as a few minutes a day spent reading, breathing or walking round the garden – it all counts and that ‘me time’ can be really effective. Crossing something off your to do list counts as well. It’s doing something that’s important to you.
4. Build some down time into your schedule for all the family
We have a PJ-day every so often so we can both chill out. Some kids need time daily, others struggle with unstructured time, so do what works for you and your family. I do think that chill out time is important so they can just sit and watch TV, draw, build Lego or whatever works. If we’re constantly on the go, it gets tiring.
5. Don’t be pressured
The world has well and truly opened up again this year with festivals and far-flung travel back on – strikes allowing! But don’t feel pressured, decide what you feel comfortable doing and only do it if you can.
6. Don’t be afraid to say yes to new things
Trying something new can work wonders and you never know how it will go. Our children are growing and developing all the time so new things can become possible. It’s sometimes easy to forget this.
7. Remember the parental presence
It’s easy with the change in routines for it to slip but keeping it up will definitely help. Let them know you’re there for them and keep on connecting!
8. Listen out for worries
The return to school may be difficult for a lot of children, yet another transition for them to manage. Schools are generally aware and good about this. When the time comes, listen to your child’s worries and acknowledge them.
9. Try a reminder
Driving past the school a few times over the holidays can help as well, so that they know it’s still there. It can also make things worse, so be careful with this one.
Children sense our anxiety, so we need to be as relaxed as possible. And breathe…
So, try and focus on your summer holidays and the change to routine, whatever that may be for you. Only change your routine as much as your children can manage – some still need things like lunch at the same time each day, for example. And enjoy it.
Your children will benefit from your time and having fun with you, whatever their age.
Need some support?
Remember, if you’d like help and support over the summer, the Connective Parenting Hub is there for you. I’ll be continuing to support all the parents in there over the holidays.
You’ll find loads of other resources on my website, too.
And why not join my free Facebook support group and chat with people who ‘get it’ over the summer months.
Through my training and support in The Connective Parenting Hub, I can help you discover the Connective Parenting® NVR approach and we can work together, in our community of other parents who “get it”, to help create a calmer and more connected home.
If you’re a professional who works with children and families, click here for more helpful resources and support.