Parenting 101: Surviving the Summer’s End

17 Aug 2016

At the beginning of the summer we had our Lunchbreak Webinar, “School’s Out: Family Friendly Lessons to Learn”.

In the class, we had some great ideas on how to manage those lazy, unstructured days of summer vacation.
The last few weeks of summer are here. Most camps are done and many families take vacations or if not, they are home trying to make the most out of these last weeks of summer vacation.

It is still worthwhile to watch our webinar for simple tips on how to set yourself up for success, effectively schedule your summer days, stop temper tantrums before they start, skills to stay calm, and how to manage sibling rivalry. This is information that you can use all year round, during any vacation time.

Click on the link here

One of the most important issues that we discussed is what our expectations are of the summer and how to make them a bit more realistic. Sometimes as parents, we hold ourselves to high standards that just make everyone, our kids, spouses and us, crazy.

This is especially true in the summer. We want it to be perfect, we want to relax, make memories with our children and get all the stuff we had not gotten done over the year done.

This is a recipe for disaster.

So what can we do? We need to, in the immortal words of Elsa, (you know, Frozen) “Let it go.”

We need to let go of the need for perfectionism. We need to recognize that the following aspects of family life are okay, annoying and often frustrating, but normal:

Kids fight. Kids and parents get into bad moods. Schedules get messed up. Kids will dilly dally. Kids will misbehave.

Once we have “Let it go” we will gain a more realistic view about parenting and life in general, our summers will go a lot smoother. We can even take it one step further and apply this to our summer vacations:

Kids will fight. Not everyone in the family will enjoy every activity. The accommodations might not be to your standard. At some point everyday someone will get cranky (including you). Your toddler will definitely at some point have a tantrum. You will probably spend more money then you thought you would. You might have to remind your kids to say thank you for taking them on the vacation – and they might not be appreciative (they might even remind you that Sara’s family gets to go to Israel every year). Someone will probably get sunburned and lots of mosquito bites. The weather will not cooperate for at least one day, probably two.

Having more realistic expectations can go a long way in helping us enjoy our summer.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.