Summertime brings with it vacations, warmer weather, outdoor activities and the stress associated with these changes from your regular routine. We all enjoy the break from our regular routines especially when it means having fun in the sun or having a break from school or work.
Unfortunately the enjoyment is tempered by situations that have to be managed that result from change in routine. A good many of these situations concern kids and how to care for them during off-school times. Other situations demand that we change our routine to correspond to the changing needs of the season.
Kids are off from school during the summer months and need alternative care during times when the adult members of their families continue to be away at work. The solution may work out to be babysitters, neighbors, relatives or daycare centers.
Those solutions may involve a certain amount of cost and a possible hardship on your household budget.
One way to address this financial stress is to organize a block babysitting co-op. One member acts as secretary and records all babysitting needs (date, times) and it is up to the members of the group to each provide the service of watching the other members children in exchange for having their children watched when they need this service.
The secretary records how often members baby-sit and how often they request to have their children cared for. No money is exchanged but services are monitored so that on one is taken advantage of.
Enroll the kids in summer camps, vacation bible school, sport teams and neighborhood activities like bake sales and lemonade stands to help keep the kids happy and busy. Kids who become bored will create mischief and get on the nerves of adults.
Keep plenty of stress busters around like arts and crafts supplies (crayons, paint, clay, chalk, bubbles, silly string, beads and other jewelry handiwork). Supply them with board games, playing cards, crossword puzzles, and books. Interest them in hobbies like stamp collection, gardening, bug and bird watching, or biking.
Around the House
Encourage older kids to do projects around the house that perhaps have been shelved during the busier months of the year like organizing those photographs, or putting storage items into protective containers.
Teach older kids to cook and you could return from work to a home-cooked meal, prepared and ready to eat. Kids can even clean and straighten the rooms in your home so you can return to nice clean living spaces. Involve them in researching summer vacations. Kids today are very computer literate.
Too Much of a Good Thing
The daylight hours are longer during summer months so we have more time to be outdoors. We tend to overdo and stress our bodies and our minds with too many outdoor activities with family and friends. We tend to take on too many outdoor projects like landscaping the yard, or maintaining vehicles or our homes.
Most of us do not know how to say no to volunteer or organizational opportunities. As summer approaches it is a good idea to decide just how many activities you can reasonably commit to and then stick to your plan.
Manage your stress through organizing activities for kids that keep them happy and busy while keeping your activity level to a minimum. Learn how to delegate tasks and to say no, when it is necessary.
Enjoy family time and create those special family memories this summer, that you will cherish for a lifetime.