Parenting Through Vacation
We think of vacation as fun and something we look forward to. We often have vacation routines. We all have body clocks. We all have what we are already used to. Your kids are used to school and you are used to your daily routine that DOESN’T include the kids. You have your ideas about the summer break. Somehow we forget the stress we went through last summer!
Include your entire family in your plans to have a successful summer. Respect the pains of routine change upfront by talking about it as a family and allowing grace to each other. Tell/remind your children of the changes you expect in family boundaries. For example if you are going to allow the kids to stay up later in the summer clearly establish a new bedtime and remind yourself that the human body clock takes about 72 hours to reset. This means you will need to understand your children’s whinny mood later in the night and also the likeliness that they will still get up at the same time. (Often Monday mornings during school hours are more difficult for this reason because the child just about switches to being able to get up later and then Monday shows up!) Sleep doctors all report that in reality good sleep hygiene means never changing your sleep wake cycle. If your family plan can allow for this it is the best option and of course needs to be communicated.
The best way to communicate with kids is slowly and deliberately. Do not expect a high rate of compliance if you are running around the house while talking to your kids. You need to take a timeout for yourself consider your summer plans and then truthfully consider your expectations and assumptions before you sit down to talk with them. Have it clearly in your mind and then talk clearly slowly and deliberately to them.