How do you feel when you think about the fact that summer is at least half way done? It's ok to have mixed feelings about it. Summer can hold so many fun things, swimming, picnics, parks, fireworks, fairs! At the same time, for my family and lots of families that I work with, there is some summer burnout that happens around this point.
Summer burnout can happen for kids and for parents. It might be kids feeling a bit bored and starting to feel that all this time off is getting old. It might be parents feeling tired of all the driving to activities, or juggling their work while kids are at home, or navigating siblings fighting or whining.
Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy this second half of summer, block burnout and build some more fun memories:
1. Start with you. Schedule in something that you want to do. If you're the parent who's getting kids to a million activities and playing "cruise director" to create one fun kid/family experience after another, then you might be feeling burned out. Don't forget about yourself. Do you need a little down time to yourself, an afternoon with adult friends, a date with your spouse or a morning to sleep in? You are an important part of your family unit, so don't forget to schedule yourself in.
2. Make a list. Work with your kids to create a list of things they could to do in the second half of summer. Help them think of things that can be done at home on their own or with a parent, as well as, outings they still hope to do. Would they want to get books from the library and learn about a different country, then make a family meal together that's typical from that region? Would they like to work on a new craft or project (friendship bracelets, bird houses, clay creations, make a comic book or story or create a mini stop motion movie)?
3. Map out the day. This is especially handy if you are juggling work and kids. Map out the day/ week for them and let them know what to expect. Your "map" might include the time you are working and the time you are available for fun activities.
4. Operation surprise someone. Every family I've met that has more than one kid has at least occasional struggles with siblings fighting or arguing. The second half of summer can show an increase in conflicts since the kids are around each other more than during the more structured school year. Work with each child to create a fun surprise for their sibling. You will make some fun memories and increase positive feelings in the home. You know your kids best, what sort of little surprise would they like? Our family woke up this week with our trampoline full of balloon dogs! We still don't know who left the fun surprise.
A few ideas you and your child can do to surprise a sibling: leave a card and a pack of gum on their door, do a chore for them, make a little art project or craft for them, put balloons in their room, get a bubble bath ready for them, create a sibling sleepover, hide a little gift in their shoes...
I hope you enjoy the second half of summer at least as much as the first half. Enjoy the little moments.
Also, please join me for a Free webinar on September 6, 2023 at 6PM CST called Parenting Marathon. We will be discussing how to train and be at our best during our various seasons of parenting challenges. My book Parenting Marathon: The 10-Step Guide to Navigate Parenting Challenges launches the following week!
Use this link to register for the webinar, then save the date at time in your calendar. You will get a zoom link to the webinar when it gets closer.