As we wrap up the last few days of the school year, we’re wishing all of our families a very joyful and uplifting summer. Below is a list of helpful reminders inspired from a recent article posted in Psychology Today. Summertime can provide some of the most special memories of childhood. Keep it simple, be present and have fun!
Keep it Simple
In a world that can be very over-stimulating and media-saturated, it is easy to lose sight of the simple joys and wonders of our world. Wonderful and lasting summer memories can be made in simple, everyday moments– without the stress, over-stimulation, and cost of an amusement park trip. For example, going on a morning walk to pick flowers in the neighborhood in which you feel fully present as a parent- or laying down a blanket in the yard or neighborhood park to play board games or with a sketch pad, in which you are able to have fun and truly enjoy your children– are simple ways to have fun this summer with your children.
Children Thrive on Routines that Meet Basic Needs
With the long days of light and excitement of summer time, it can be easy to lose sight of the reality that children’s brains thrive on routines, and a routine cause of misbehavior is when children have unmet basic needs. While sleep and meal times may fluctuate over the summer, totally changing children’s routines- or skipping meals or losing sleep on a regular basis can result in misbehavior and meltdowns. As parents, if we can work to create a sense of loose routines that also create space for the expansive nature of summertime, our children (and their behavior) will thrive.
The Power of Outside
One of the most wonderful things about summertime is the ability to open the door and get outside every moment of the day. Remember the power of the outside as an amazing parenting tool that also can meet children’s innate needs to play and move. Is the energy feeling stagnant? Are the children arguing? Open the door and walk outside for an immediate way to both re-energize and shift back to positive energy in your family.
The Strength is in the Challenge
There is always a silver lining in every behavioral challenge, but it can be so hard to see in the moment. So often our children’s strengths are wrapped up in their behavioral challenges. Our role as parents can be to unwrap the tangle of seaweed off the clam so our children can access their pearls in life. One way we can do this is to look for our children’s strengths in everyday moments, and fully enjoy who are children are as people. Also, we can keep our eyes open for the flipside of our children’s challenges: the strength and life gift connected to the “mis”behavior.
Honor Your Daily Reality
Our children are wired to reflect back our thoughts and feelings, which is the brain science concept of mirror neurons. Taking time for ourselves and having positive outlets for strong emotions is wonderful self-care modeling we can do for our children– and also will help prevent our stress from influencing our children’s behavior. Along these lines, one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to be consistently who we are, in connection to our highest selves, throughout as many moments of daily life as possible. When our needs are met as parents and we’re speaking and acting from our best selves, we naturally cultivate the best in our children.
Wishing you all a beautiful summer!