It’s lots of transition and change for kiddos and parents to move from school schedules to summer schedules. If you are a parent who feels nervous about summer challenges you are not alone.
As a parent getting ready for summer I’ve been considering the challenges with my eyes wide open this week. I’ve done this by looking at the rhythm of our house and the how individual schedules fit with that rhythm.
Once I began to consider mindfully the best daily rhythm that works for my family I looked at the schedule each family member had planned for the summer. I found that there was a lot of inconsistency that felt chaotic.
Like swimming lessons, I signed up for lessons that fit my work schedule but fall at dinner time. Or, violin lessons for one child is at the same time as another one’s nap time. As I look at the schedule I think, well it’s just what it’s going to be like. Then dread sets in and I’m waiting for summer to be over.
But dreading summer with your family doesn’t have to be. I want to suggest that there could be another way. It would start with mindfulness and a seeking to be congruent, not chaotic with the overall needs of my individual family members.
Here’s what I mean, I know that if I feel chaotic, my kids are going to feel chaotic too! When there is chaos in my home, lots of emotions come out to play. And intense emotions is where the biggest challenges come for me as a parent.
So taking a step back and looking at the ideal rhythm of the entire family will help me in creating a different summer schedule in hopes of keeping a sense of consistency in transitional times like summer.
Once I find the rhythm, putting activities and plans on the calendar that fits the family rhythm will reinforce the ideal rhythm, not the other way around! If I choose family rhythm over activities I do know that there will be less chaos. And less chaos means more capacity to deal with intense emotions that come up and that means I can be more of the parent I want to be.
Once I began to consider my family rhythm first, to my surprise, I’ve found many other summer events and lessons that fit much better into my rhythm than not. I’ve also found people to be accommodating and understanding my limitations when I requested help to make lessons work for everyone involved.
I am now looking forward to summer this year after choosing family rhythm over activities. With mindfulness being practiced in the way I keep my family schedule I am anticipating a much different summer!
If this sounds like something your family could benefit from, consider joining me in this endeavor for a different, more mindful summer.
Photo by Emily Reider on Unsplash
Owner | Child Therapist | LCPC, RPT
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