Last Days of Summer Parenting
The arrival of August brings on a variety of feelings in this woman’s life. The former teacher in me cringes about the idea of back-to-school season being just around the corner. The mommy in me is sad that soon her babies will be back to school and out of the house. The individual in me, deep, deep down, longs for those peaceful moments just after the elementary school bus comes and the pre-school drop-off has been completed.
But the parent in me – that part of me that is a chaotic mix of chef, social director, and disciplinarian – is desperate for a way to infuse these final days of summer break with fun and excitement.
If you’re facing these last couple weeks of vacation feeling like your family is stuck in a rut, then maybe it’s time to flip the script! Sometimes simply doing the opposite of what is expected is enough to turn a boring day into an extraordinary day. Why not announce at breakfast that today is pajama party day? Stay inside and watch movies on the floor with the kids in a heap of pillows and sleeping bags, jammies on, and don’t worry that it’s the middle of the week. Do you usually schedule outside play time for the morning? How about abandoning bed time for just one night and instead going for a long walk just as the fireflies are appearing, heading out back to the swingset in those last moments of daylight, or putting all the windows down on the car and taking the kids for an evening drive around town?
Allow meal time to get in on the action. Serve pancakes and bacon for dinner or a bowl of cereal with fresh fruit for a crazy afternoon snack. Pick a day and allow the kids to plan the meals for the entire day, or if they’re old enough, put them in charge of preparation! Getting tired of spending so much time together in one place? Call a family meeting and think of one room in the house that could be changed with just a fresh coat of paint and some furniture rearranging, then allow the whole family to be a part of the process. No time or funds to travel to an exotic location? Create your own island getaway at home and spend the weekend with the family “away.”
The dog days of summer are here…and those precious moments before the business of school time are growing few. Flip the script. Think outside the box. Enjoy the last days of summer parenting.
What are you going to do to savor these moments?