Memorial Day is just around the corner which means summer is almost upon us. For parents, this always seems to be an interesting time of year. On one hand, it feels like school should be over, but at the same time it feels like routines are falling apart just when you’ve finally gotten into a groove. Either way, the calendar is filling up with special events to celebrate another academic year coming to a close and you have to keep up!
Here are three ways to make sure you and your child survive—and thrive, during the home stretch of the school year:
Hold sleep sacred.
Days are getting longer and it’s only natural for kids and teens to want to stay up later. While there are times when special events will bump into bedtime routines, do your best to make sleep a priority.
This is especially important to remember if you have older children who are preparing for exams. It may be tempting to justify a few late nights of studying, but sacrificing rest for test preparation has a negative impact on your child’s sleep cycle that does more harm than good. Planning ahead is the best way to prepare, and when the time comes know that it’s okay to make the call for lights out.
Spend “found” time thoughtfully.
For younger children, this may be a time of year marked by progressively less homework and more free time after-school. Be mindful about how that time is spent and try to prevent overuse of screens by lovingly kicking your child outdoors as often as possible or encouraging unplugged playtime.
These last few weeks will set the stage for the long summer ahead and it’s a great opportunity for kids to practice filling free time with creativity and movement. Know that the pull to pick up a tablet or plug into video games will be hard to resist, but that the limits you set now will pave the way for a great summer.
Enjoy the moments you can.
When the routines you’ve come to rely on over the past nine months start come to change, it’s hard to keep up. Recitals, concerts, and graduation ceremonies all require time, organization, and preparation. There always seems to be a last minute change in plans or a specific shirt that needs to be procured at the last minute.
During the process, remember to take a breath, pace yourself, and enjoy these milestone moments. In ten years, it won’t matter how hard it was to rearrange work schedules and deal with crowded auditoriums, it will be the look on your child’s face that will stay with you. Make sure you’re not so distracted by the hectic pace that you miss it.
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