It may seem like just a few months ago you were buying your kids school supplies and they were adjusting to early mornings and new routines, and now here it is June! Your children work hard during the year to achieve in their academics, extra curricular activities, and more, and are ready for a break…however, are you ready?
This transition can be a stressful time for working parents. And, although you might enjoy spending summers on the beach, playing at the park or attending summer programs with your kids, the reality is most parents will be spending the majority of the warm weather months sitting at desks. Therefore, it takes a bit of effort to smoothly transition families from school routines, to summer routines effectively.
Here are some tips to help you prepare:
- Find a child care provider
Determine what type of care you need and how often. This could be a family member, day camp counselor, babysitter, nanny, or other child care provider. Child minding can be a major stressor for parents so to help you navigate this, our child care services web page, Babysitter Bulletin Board and summer camps listing can be a good place to start to decrease your stress!
- Spring clean
As soon as school is done, get your child to help you clean out their old school supplies, backpack and other belongings, as you won’t want to be sorting through smelly backpacks or finding any nasty lunch leftovers, come the end of August. If your child is heading to post-secondary school in the fall, this is the perfect time to get them to purge old clothes, thoroughly clean their room and start making a list of what to bring to their new environment.
- Plan and maintain a routine
Summer is a time to relax, let children play and enjoy themselves, but not too much. Children thrive on routine and going from an extremely scheduled day to nothing can be tough transition. You can create a calendar of events, with your family to make the most of the free time; ask your children “what are 3 things you want to do this summer?” Perhaps they want to learn how to swim, go camping in a Provincial Park or create a summer reading list.
- Get outdoors
Many of us dread the cold, long winter months – so soak up the sunshine while you can! Encourage your family (parents included!) to step away from their devices because there are lots of outdoors activities happening across the GTA. Don’t forget hats, and sunscreen, too!
- Avoid over-scheduling
Maintaining a routine and sticking to a schedule is important, but easier said than done. It is inevitable that: there will be a delay on the TTC, your child will get sick, or they will be too tired from day camp and won’t want to attend piano lessons. This is normal. We all need a break sometimes, so try to avoid burnout not just for yourself, but your kids too.
Last but not least, relax! Enjoy as much time with your family as possible. Keep in mind that your children won’t necessarily remember expensive summer camps or vacations, but they will have fond memories of playing catch with their siblings or walking the beach with you.
Have any tips or tricks for how to survive the end of the school year? Comment below!