A Note from the Publisher: OK, It's Summer, Now What?

By Sara-Lynne Levine July 2, 2020

July 2. We survived distance learning and more than 100 days at home. We made it to summer. Now what?

Like many of you, I registered my kid for camp waaayyy back in February. I did everything right. Researched, put down a deposit, signed him up with a friend. I was golden. He was excited. Summer was looked after. Yea, well we can kiss that goodbye. In June,  we received an email that his camp was cancelled leaving me with eight plus weeks to fill. Super. Now what do I do?

Sound familiar? OK, so first off, don't panic. You are not alone.

What I've learned these past few months is that kids are resilient and adaptable and they feed off our vibes. They also don't need a lot of stuff to be happy. Give 'em love, attention (food and water are good too) and they can surprise you.

So, summer is looking different now. We have a new summer non-schedule but still a schedule. There are chores, there is reading, there is screen time AND outdoor time and there is lots of down time and family time. Here are our tips to help you get through the next few weeks.

Set a Summer Schedule
Even when things were normal we had the kids on a summer schedule. A later bedtime and wake up time allowed for flexibility and freedom but still managed everyone's expectations.

Involve Kids in the Planning
Let the kids help plan meals and leisure pursuits. Their buy-in will make them more likely to enjoy the activities. Plan a PJ movie day if it's supposed to rain. Go berry picking and make a pie. Put a book on hold at the library, read it together and then watch the movie. Go to the river and feed the ducks. Visit a new ice cream place. Create a chalk obstacle course. Build a fort. Give the kids your three choices and let them choose. Their buy-in will make a difference. Our summer bucket list can help you plan.

Be Prepared for Negotiation
My kid loves to play video games with his friends. I hate it. It makes him happy, so I've accepted that, but this is where the negotiation comes in. He knows if he wants screen time, he needs to have finished his chores, read for a half an hour and also knows he has a set time every afternoon. But, if we do an activity, he can re-negotiate his screen time. He won't always win, but I'm teaching him to advocate for himself and also showing him how to be flexible.

Food Prep
My kids seem to be eating every two hours. We are going through so much food. I hate being asked "what's for dinner", so once a week, before we do groceries, we sit down as a family and plan the meals for the week. This includes lunches, dinners and snacks. Ingredients go on the grocery list and meals go on a board on the fridge. This helps us stay organized and everyone gets a say in what they want to eat. We have containers filled with cut up fruit and veggies, dips, nuts, dried fruit and lots of easy to grab and go items. We also have the kids help prep and cook, since we have the time and this is a great life skill that will help them down the line.

Try to Relax
This is easier said than done. We are in the middle of a pandemic. Nothing is normal. Emotions vary daily. Things are really, really hard. But, for most of us, we are really, really lucky. We are at home with our families. We are safe and we are healthy. Every night at dinner (and yes, eating together as a family is another thing we have been doing together) we talk about our day, we talk about how we are feeling, we check in with each other and we look after each other. Try and find the little moments that bring you joy and relish in them. Maybe it's a glass of wine, a walk around the block, a cuddle or an ice cream. Embrace it, indulge in it, do it. If it makes you happy, then be happy.

While so much uncertainty swirls around us, try and be in the moment and let your kids have some fun. We can do this. 

Have a great week!


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