Schools Out! Now What?

As a mother of five whose kids are spaced 17 years apart, the thought of school being out for weeks on end was enough to make my palms sweat and my heart race! How can I keep my tribe of all ages and stages happy and connected until the first August bell rings?!?! If this speaks to you too, momma, fear not. I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve to slow that heart rate.

5 Fun Ways to Connect with Your Kids This Summer:

  1. Take the family out to pick your own fresh produce! Pack a picnic for the road trip, as there are many options for this excursion – some closer to home than others. To get an extensive list of places to visit, go to pickyourown.org/TX.
  2. There’s nothing like an old-school neighborhood get-together to connect and promote community for all ages. This book, The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell, will help you bring back old-school events like kick the can, hide and seek, outdoor meals, and good old-fashioned family connection. While you watch your kids run around or chalk the walk with the neighborhood kids, you can swap parenting wisdom, career advice, and favorite recipes with that new mom or dad or the older couple up the block you haven’t yet met.
  3. Create a family ritual around games or movies! Maybe it’s Saturday afternoon board games or Tuesday night movies – or both! Get your kids involved by asking what tradition they’d like to begin this summer. For the final week of summer, do something different and bigger like break out a
    backyard campout!
  4. One of the most important things we can provide our kids is a regular time to talk about any problems they or the family is experiencing. Maybe you’ve picked up the towel off the bathroom floor for the last time and you’re about to lose your cool. I hear you. But instead of yelling, hold a Family Meeting. Finish Sunday dinner with a family pow-wow and then go out for ice cream. When we provide a trusted, safe place for our kids to talk to us, they will open up. And trust me, you want to birth that ongoing discussion long before they’re teenagers.
  5. If your child had the benefit of a special day just with you, what would he or she want to do? Ask them this and then plan it out. Have five kids? It doesn’t have to be expensive. The greatest gift we can give our sons and daughters is our undivided attention. Time running your kid from one event to another does not count as alone time. Taking a walk through the trails at Twin Coves Park does!

One final thought Mom and Dad: you cannot give what you don’t have. So, even before doing number one on this list, know that taking time for yourself is what’s gotta happen. Self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity and something to practice every single day! Namaste.

Kim Muench, a Flower Mound mom of five, is the Founder of Real Life Parent Guide. Learn more about her work at www.reallifeparentguide.com.

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