Summer Time (and the living is easy?)

In my hometown it is officially summer.  I know, the season really starts later this week on June 21, but school got out here last Friday.   Last night the neighborhood children were out shooting baskets and hooting it up in the evening, a sure sign that they had no homework to do.

So, is the living easy?  I know that for many working parents it has been a scramble to find the coverage they need for the summer.  They are planning their time off around the times that they do not have child care or a camp for their children to go to.

For many of the “atypical kids” life does get easier in the summer when the academic demands go away.  Kids who were irritable and snappish are now a little easier to be around.  The transition to summer has happened, and many are feeling relief.  Enjoy.

Other of the “atypical kids” are more irritable because their predictable schedule has changed.  These are the kids for whom it is important for you, the parent, to introduce the summer routine.  It doesn’t need to be highly detailed.  Think about what your child needs to remain an active member of the family instead of a total couch potato.  Regular times for screens and meals will help.  Regular times that everyone gets up and out, perhaps to go to a community pool, will also help.

This requires a lot of “rolling with it” for parents as they transition into summer.  The regular summer programs don’t start until next week or even after the Fourth of July.  Like their children, parents also can become grumpy when the schedule is unpredictable.  I speak from my own experience.  So, take care of yourself by letting yourself roll with it.  If you can take some time off of work, do so, and plan to do some activities that you can enjoy with your child.  Try to expect less of yourself in terms of housekeeping, meal prep, and so forth.

Take some deep breaths and notice whether you and your children are enjoying the beginning of summer.  What do you and your family need to have some enjoyment?  It’s different in different families.  Are you having s’mores for dessert?  Watching a movie together?  Looking for bugs under logs (one of my favorites)? Baking cookies?

Try to let the living be easy.  And when it isn’t; when the adjustment to a new routine gets to you and your children and tempers flare, forgive yourself, take some breaths and start over.  Remember, your good family time may not look like anyone elses.  I would be interested to hear what you particular family likes to do to relax in the summer.

Photo credit:  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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6 Responses to “Summer Time (and the living is easy?)”
  1. JoAnn Jordan says:

    It does take time to settle into a summer routine. But, it is fun changing things up to include summer activities. In our house that means we don’t rush out of bed as early most mornings and have time to stay up a little later to enjoy the evenings.

  2. dr.cstone says:

    Hi JoAnn,
    Sounds like a nice summer pace. I’m already enjoying that some myself.
    It’s great that you and your family can adapt and enjoy!

  3. I must confess that I am very happy that our family’s routine doesn’t have to change in the summer, since my daughter is in day care year-round. I have heard others talk about the stress of finding childcare and activities for their children. I think it is helpful to remember that as long as the kids are safe and have some sort of routine, you and they will be able to find things to do along the way.

    P.S. I love your reference to “Summertime.” It’s one of my favorites 🙂

  4. dr.cstone says:

    Hi Rachelle,
    That’s great that summer is not a big adjustment for your family. And for many families it’s no big deal to move from school to camp. So, enjoy!
    And yes, “Summertime” is a wonderful song. I was lucky to hear it live in the pre-Broadway run of Porgy and Bess in Cambridge. I just love that music!

  5. Carolyn,

    I was personally thrilled to start summer because it meant that we can shift our nights and mornings a bit later to match the longer daylight hours. In our family, summer means lots of pool time, lots of park time, and as many “adventures” as we can dream up.

    Thanks for the practical, kind suggestions on coping with new routines.


  6. dr.cstone says:

    Dear Ann,
    Your summer sounds delightful! Enjoy! It’s great that your kids roll easily with the change of routine and ease of schedule. Thanks for your comment.