Investing in Family: Keeping Your Cool When Summer Heats Up

Investing in Family: Keeping Your Cool When Summer Heats Up

It could be the recipe for disaster: climbing temps and the end of school. Suddenly, you have hot and cranky kids. Home. All day. I think it's fair to say that for some of us, summer could use an adjustment period while moms and kids get into the groove of being around each other more. Before the combo of soaring mercury and sweaty kids has you seeing red, take a few minutes now to put your I'm-staying-cool-no-matter-what plan into place.

Establish a Schedule

Some may think, 'The kids have been so rigorously scheduled for the past nine months; why would I want to impose any more on them? Furthermore, why would I want to make the effort? I need a break, darn-it!' Well, I'm not saying that every single minute of every summer day should be packed with activities, but I do think there's some truth in the notion that kids do pretty well when they have an idea of what's coming next. It's security, of sorts.

You may want to think about roughly scheduling a general idea of how days are going to go for your kids when they're out of school for the summer. It could be very simple ( as in wake, eat and sleep with swim classes thrown in on Thursdays) or more detailed (such as Mondays, 9:30: playgroup; Tuesdays, all day: Grandma's house; etc.).

Once you've decided upon a rough sketch of how the summer will go (or at least the first few weeks), then convey this to your kids. It's a way of letting them know that their world is still secure and their needs will be met, even if the days are a bit different than school days. The consistency of the routine will help you and your children get on the right path to a summer full of natural heat (rather than boiling-mad temps).

Rules Are Still In Session. . .

. . . even when school isn't. Whatever your household rules are (think no hitting, use only good language, etc.), make sure Becky and Scotty know them. In addition, let them know the rules are enforced year-round, with no summer hiatus.

The first few days home might be a good time to go over your family rules (a summer refresher course, if you will). If need be, write them down and post them where all eyes can see. Reinforcing what is (and isn't) expected of your kids can go a long way towards warding off hair-pulling behavior, and it's another way for you to keep your cool.

The Gambler

Remember the Kenny Rogers song, "The Gambler"? The lyrics go: "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run." Well as you embark on a summer at home with your little darlings, keep this little ditty handy. Sometimes as parents, we need to recognize when we get close to overload.

Long, hot days, muggy nights and kids who suddenly start whining "I'm bo-o-o-red" two weeks after the school doors close are enough to take us to the breaking point pretty fast. So like Kenny says, know when you might need to walk away (or run!) and get some time to yourself to refresh and rejuvenate. Make sure that you're scheduling in some "me time" to help you keep cool this summer.

Summer at home with the kids doesn't have to mean a temporary end to your sanity. With a little forethought and common sense, you can set the stage for a calm and happy summer, for your clan and for yourself.

Any summer parenting tips out there? Drop us a line here and let us know your favorite way to keep your summer cool.

Photo Source