By Meg Hodson
School is out. It's officially summer vacation for my three children. They're excited. I'm excited, too (really I am). But to get to cruising altitude of summer, we must survive Adjustment Day.
I've never been to a chiropractor, but I am fully versed in what I am calling Adjustment Day. The kids are officially out of school for summer, but are acting as they have been throw into the deep end of the pool with no skill of how to swim. In short, they are nuts. We've stayed up way past our bedtime a few nights. Regularly scheduled school year has gone into repeats. There is laughter, tears, fighting, and exhaustion....and that is all by the time breakfast is over. I adore my kids, but seriously, I am about ready to run out the front door screaming.
So what do you do? What helps ease the transition to summer vacation? How do you survive Adjustment Day? I've assembled a few tips that I think help with summer vacation.....and on any given day that your kids might seem out of sorts and a little off center:
1. Keep Them Well Fed. One of the best tips I received was prior to our trip to Disneyland a few years ago. A fellow parent friend advised to pack lots of snacks and feed my kids every 2 hours. While it seemed excessive before going, it proved to be useful and downright necessary on our visit. I think the same is true for summer vacation. In general, kids are outside more and their activity level is increased. Every other sentence out of their mouth is "I'm hungry". I have brushed off the request for food other times, but this time around, it appears that they legitimately need a bit more food. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean food every 2 hours, but I am making a conscious effort to pack their plates a bit heavier at their three core meals and keep apple slices and carrot sticks in handy grab bags in the fridge.
2. Keep Them Active. As a parent that works from home, I have to find a balance between spending time with my children and getting work done. Easier said then done, right? I do know that activities that are easily available to them are key. I keep a well-stocked pile of new books from the library as they participate in a summer reading program. Our backyard is equipped with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, toys, a trampoline, a sprinkler for hot days, and more. I use a dry erase board each day for a small amount of chores for them to complete. Find what they like and have those options ready and organized.
3. Establish A Summer Schedule. When the school year is in full swing, adhering to a schedule is relatively easy. That changes in summer. But I urge you to create, even if it's loose, a summer schedule. Have set times when they are allowed to watch a t.v. show or play a video game. Have a set time for workbooks or reading. Serve your meals at about the same time each day. Children thrive on a regular schedule; this will make them and you much happier.
4. Roll With It. As prepared as you will be, there will still be insane, crazy days. And it's on these days that I urge you to squeeze your kids a little longer and smile.