Summer Parenting Stress Is Real, But It Doesn't Have to Destroy Your Vacation

How do you generally feel when summer approaches each year? Are you looking forward to the freedom from the school calendar to spend time with your family, or are you worried about how to keep your children entertained for months without school? As summer approaches, many parents are probably feeling a combination of each of these emotions. While we may welcome the vacation from the routine of school, many of us are also juggling multiple priorities. Many of us continue to work during the summer, and finding time to play with our children or keep them entertained can be difficult. These competing impulses and priorities can frequently result in a summer that is less than restful.

Summer Stress in Real Life

With the arrival of summer comes not just nicer weather, but also a slew of expectations. From advertising to social media, there is a cultural expectation that summer should be relaxing and full of pleasant excursions for families. For many of us, our summer experiences fall short of our lofty expectations of adventure and leisure. Stress is frequently found when our lofty aspirations and realities collide. We may enter the summer with the expectation that everything will be picture-perfect, but no family can match this goal. We may unintentionally add extra stress to our lives by attempting to fulfil this standard.

Furthermore, a lack of regularity or structure during the summer can be stressful for both children and adults. Children normally flourish when they have a routine. Routines help youngsters know what to expect and build a sense of security because they have less control over their life in general.3 When the school routine ends for the summer, some children (and parents) may find it difficult to maintain the same sense of regularity at home. This can mean that daily tasks such as eating, sleeping, personal hygiene, and recreation may not be as predictable, making life feel more stressful. Children can be especially stressed by irregular sleep periods or patterns.

Summer Stress Reduction Tips

We might strive to avoid summer stress by embracing the season with purpose and managing our expectations. Here are a few pointers to help you make the most of your family's summer vacation without stress:

Avoid Overscheduling: With so many hours to fill each day over the summer, it's tempting to plan activities for our kids to keep them busy. This can unintentionally cause stress to everyone's lives. The free time we imagined we'd have can rapidly vanish between transporting children to various activities and organising for them. Furthermore, too many activities and transitions per day might cause youngsters to become overtired and disobedient. They also require plenty of unstructured play time to build social and emotional skills.

Collaborate with Friends: Nothing says 'it takes a village to raise a child' more than over the summer. Juggling child care throughout the summer can be challenging if all of the adults in the family work outside the home. While camps or childcare may be an option for some families, working together with other families can also be a tremendous source of support. Consider trading off minding each other's children on particular days if you have other families in your neighbourhood or community with whom you feel comfortable. Playdates with friends can be a great way for older children to fill those long summer days with pleasure. Older children are generally adept at occupying themselves with friends, allowing parents to work from home or oversee younger siblings.

Prioritise Sleep: Because of the long summer days and the variety of outdoor activities available, everyone in the family prefers to stay up later during this season. While staying up late on occasion might be enjoyable for children, too many late nights can lead to difficulties the following day. Even in the summer, children want appropriate sleep in order to play and study well. Most of us are aware that weary children are frequently irritable, which can make the entire family grumpy. Attempt to keep children's sleep schedules as normal as possible.

Reduce Your Expectations: We all want summer to be an enjoyable and memorable time for our children. However, our desire to create memories and have fun does not have to be accompanied with a desire for perfection. Even if things don't go as planned, family vacations can still be enjoyable (if not even more so). The same can be said for practically any family activity or outing we may have this summer. In general, youngsters like spending time with their families, which might be simple and spontaneous.

Make Time for Self-Care: As parents, we are often reminded of the need for self-care. While this can be difficult at times, it is also essential to our health and ability to be emotionally present for our children. Summer presents unique obstacles to self-care, such as balancing job duties with child care, a lack of organised days, and frequent travel. With all of this in mind, explore tiny ways you might be able to care for your personal well-being this summer.

Despite our ideals of summer pleasure and recreation, the summer season can occasionally bring unanticipated stress. Summer might feel more chaotic than relaxing as we try to balance our commitments and the demands of our children. Avoid stress this summer by planning ahead of time and committing to lowering your expectations.

We have some activity posters, maps and flashcards that you can check out to engage kids during summer.


Previous article
Next article