No more pencils, no more books! School’s out for summer!

Oh that glorious feeling of freedom that the end of the school year brings. 2 and a half months of warm weather, popsicles and swimming! It might as well be endless!

Sometimes as a parent, it’s difficult to remember that elated feeling that kids experience at the beginning of summer. Summer can still have a special aura, but it can also be something to dread. All of a sudden our defined, daily structure vanishes. Our kids are home…ALL THE TIME! It’s like coming to the end of a daydreamy escalator ride. Abrupt, unnerving, too soon!

If you’re finding yourself dreading the next few months, then why not find ways to make it a little more fun FOR YOU!

Yes, advice for summertime fun –the parent edition.

Only suggest outings that you will enjoy!!

If you’re not in the mood for a hike, but you think your kids would enjoy it… don’t even suggest it! It’s not always the purpose of parenting to facilitate your kids’ fun. But don’t discount your own fun when brainstorming things to do.

Every once in a while, take your kids to do something that just you want to do. Chances are good that they’ll have more fun than they thought they would and it might encourage them to be open to other new experiences. But those things don’t have to happen. Sometimes it’s ok for you to be the one who enjoyed yourself instead of your kids.

Relax around and with your kids

Show your kids that you know how to kick back. Let them see you reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle. And feel free to let them know that relaxing time is your time. Just because it looks like you’re not “doing anything,” doesn’t mean that they can interrupt you with requests whenever they want. Guard that downtime. Take a quick snooze in the backyard while they play on the swingset.

They just might learn that they can entertain themselves for a while (encouraging alone time) and that recharging your batteries is something that even parents need to do!

Look for little bits of fun

If you’re getting tired of being in the car as you drive kids to camps and practices, see if you can find a little fun by singing along with the radio (bonus points if you do it with your kids in the car!). Or if you’re sick of watching the 7th inning of little league, institute your own 7th inning stretch and do a little dance (bonus points for embarrassing your kid a little bit?).

We can’t eliminate all of the chores and squabbling, sweating and flotation devices that will accompany this summer, but we can try to maximize our own fun so that when school starts again we might actually be sad to see summer go.