By Leslie Lindsay
This is your kid in school: [visualize your studious child sitting in neat rows of desks, her hand rising every so often to answer the teacher’s questions and coming home eager to complete homework assignments and projects].
This is your kid on summer vacation: [picture sunny days and blue skies, glistening swimming pools, all of the Caldecott books read, picnics in the park. Smiles on all faces, including yours].
Seems it never is what we think it will be, right? [That’s sort of what I was thinking].
Here’s the relatity: Your child(ren) is having a great time on summer vacation. At least for the first 48 hours. You slowly try to become acquainted to having your “free time” intruded upon by at least one little person, and wonder, “how am I ever going to get to Target with these kids under foot?” Your children argue, bicker, fuss, crab, and cry. And that is just in the first hour or so of your day. The Life cereal has run out and all you can offer are Eggo waffles, but waffles are so last week. You want to go to the gym, because that’s the only place you can get a break, but the kids all whine and fuss and crab and cry that they are “too big” for the kids’ room. You take them anyway and promise you’ll stop at Dunkin’ Donuts afterwards as a bit of a bribe. You eat a donut, too because it makes you feel better. So much for burning 350 calories on the elliptical.
If you see yourself here, don’t panic. Get proactive! It’s what I have been doing for the last few years as this time of year rolls around. I know it’s going to be an adjustment–for all involved. So I start early. (In fact, now that I think about it, this post should have been written awhile back when I was first thinking about it). But, if you are like most parents out there, you knew this was coming and you were probably smart enough to get into the swing of things before it was too late. At least I hope so.
- Find time to have a little free time with your kids as you ease into summer. Have a few days of unscheduled fun in the sun. Let them call the shots.
- Ask what they want to do this summer. The answer may surprise you. My daughter wanted to go horseback riding. I found a camp nearby that does just that.
- Don’t hesitate to have mandatory “quiet time” at your house in the summer. It’s why Latin countries have siesta. No one is “too old” for that. Give your children some grade-level appropriate things to do while they are in quiet time. Tell ’em you’ll check their progress on it later. (workbooks, puzzles, handwriting practice, chapter books, book reports)
- Schedule them to attend some day camps. You can go all fancy here and really pick some specialized camps like golf or cooking, or you can go for the basic YMCA day camp. Book it now. It will give you something to look forward to when they are fussing, crabbing, and crying.
- Head out for a little mini roadtrip. Explore a new place, even if it is local but you’ve never been–like a real working farm or an Amish village.
Here are some other ideas from ADDitude Magazine http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/7507.html
That’s it…class dismissed!