10 tips to reconcile this summer without feeling guilty
The summer holidays arrive and the children have three months without school. So much time goes by for a lot, but in many cases, it also supposes a great effort for the parents, who will have to reconcile these months their working hours with the new situation of their children.
The offer of summer activities aimed at children is increasingly wider: workshops, camps, sports stays ... All of these are a great resource for many families during school holidays, as well as an obstacle for those who do not. You can access them.
During planning it is normal that some doubts arise about what activity children should do during the summer, if we should keep the routines at home, or if we give them more freedom, if we can forget about homework in summer ... Any summer activity directed to children is a great opportunity for the little ones to make new friends and have new experiences whenever they can do activities that they like and do not live it as something that generates anxiety or have the feeling that the parents get rid of them temporarily.
There is also the option of grandparents for those who have them nearby, or for those who are lucky enough to have grandparents with an apartment on the beach, at the campsite or simply in the village. Parents, who must continue working during this time, always have doubts about which is the best option to reconcile family life in summer.
Ten tips to reconcile this summer
1. Avoid feeling guilty. Not having vacations when your children do have them is a problem that can be considered social and cultural. Reconciling work and family life is still a utopia, it is not your fault. Your children can enjoy summer even though you work especially if you are with them when you get home.
2. Get organized in advance and set priorities. Maybe you need to plan ahead of time the extraordinary expense of the summer months: activities for children while you work, family vacations ... if the budget goes off, it is best to foresee it. But be careful: you do not have to spend a lot to have fun in the summer. Plan also according to your schedule during those months and do not worry too much. Maybe you need someone to take them or pick them up during those days, ask for help if you need it. And if you feel exhausted when leaving work, take some time to rest before moving on to the action that the children will ask you for. It's good to see that you do not have super-powers or an inexhaustible energy: you're not on vacation.
3. Mark the date of registration in the calendar. The offer of summer activities for children is very wide and varied, but it has a time for registration. If you leave it for the last moment you may run out of space.
4. Listen to your children's wishes to choose a scheduled activity or another. It is always better to be consistent with your preferences, in this way you will be involved and enjoy much more. But be reasonable, if the activity you would like to do your child is an expense you can not afford, talk to him and reasons. You do not have to give in to all your wishes.
5. Keep routines at home or be more flexible in summer? The key is balance, so that children can have a routine (although different from what they have while going to school) as the hours of getting up, meals, going to bed etc, along with moments that have more freedom and they are not programmed. We can not ignore that the characteristics of summer force us to keep a certain rhythm, different from the one we have in winter: the excessive heat in the central hours of the day, the night arrives later, how pleasant it is to walk with the cool of the sunset. It is good that you adapt.
6. Duties in summer? It depends on the child and the parents: if they consider that they have done a good course, it is logical to let them "rest" of the academic content, but it is always interesting to maintain other more relaxed habits such as reading a good book, or playing with a book of mathematics that stimulates your interest and fun for example. It is good to disconnect from school and enjoy all the different possibilities that summer offers us.
7. In summer you also learn During the holidays, children have the opportunity to learn and exercise other types of skills: social, spontaneous games, physical activity, creativity ... It is important to value this and not only see the academic content as learning. In addition, the most free and relaxed time that summer offers us so that children can explore and show what their true interests and concerns are (outside of a directed context such as school). We can also take advantage of transmitting another type of values that are equally important in a more relaxed environment, such as those that have to do with the family and personal environment. For example, the collaboration in the domestic tasks and the maintenance of the home or the planning of activities.
8. If you get bored a little, nothing happens. It is not necessary that the time you spend at home is programmed, bored is good! Children have to learn to find alternatives to boredom. We parents are not animators that we have to offer fun at every moment.
9. Beware of screens: They are the easy resource to fill time. It is a good idea to limit its use in summer, this means to set a reasonable period in which we will use it daily (1 hour, 2 hours ...) and it is best to do it with them at the beginning of the summer and be consistent with it .
10. Plan family activities. Parents and children can do many activities together after work, such as reading, playing board games, watching a movie, dressing up, cycling, preparing dinner together or even just talking. It is enough to get up to them, show them that we are interested in them and accompany them. It is advisable to find activities that encourage collaboration and participation of parents, stimulating communication and proximity of all family members. Even discovering together new activities and environments, stimulating the innate curiosity of children. Many cities offer activities to do with children in summer (visiting museums, outdoor concerts, workshops for families ... etc).
The most important thing is to try to enjoy the time we spend with our children to the fullest, and not forget that it is very healthy to give us permission to do something different to our daily activities. The fundamental ingredient of school holidays should be a time for the fun of the whole family, so as not to end up needing a "vacation from the holidays". In addition to being a space for all, parents and children, rest.
Angels Ponce. Family Therapist