Hi friends! I’m so excited to share this series my friend Kim will be sharing on the blog! She’s a fabulous makeup artist and a preschool teacher turned parenting coach who really believes that tiny humans have voices that need to be heard. I highly recommend getting to know her if you don’t already!
Parents, I don’t know about you, but as a teacher, once I return from spring break, it feels like
the end of the school year approaches like a boulder rolling down a hill. While we are prepping
final projects, evaluations and summer school programming, you are shaking in your boots just
thinking about the ten weeks your child’s school is closed for summer vacation.
And I get it!
You didn’t go to school for education or child development. You love and know your kid deeply,
but how do you provide them with valuable and engaging activities for TEN weeks?!
First of all, let me tell you that you are amazing. You are keeping your kid alive, loving them,
and keeping yourself alive!
But I want to help you have more!
More joy for yourself.
More joy with your kiddo.
More understanding of their needs.
You deserve to have it all!
While you may be aware that your kid loves running around and kicking a ball, choosing a camp
is more than just which one involves running and kicking.
You can ask yourself questions like:
If you’re still feeling lost in answering some of these questions, talk to your child’s teacher(s). It
is normal not to know your child in all aspects when you are not with them in a school or group setting, and when you are, they still may behave differently. Better yet, talk to your kid! Let them answer some of the questions. With various perspectives, you’ll have a much better idea on how to accommodate your child best.
Next you have to decide if your child can take on a challenge in some of these areas, or if they
need to stay within their comfort zone. While we want to set up our children for success, it is
also important to help them grow. This can happen in so many ways and growth cannot happen
in the zone of fight or flight.
Every kid is different! Do not compare your child and their experience to someone else. Even
children born on the same day will develop so differently and as we all know, comparison is the thief of joy.
Remember how much fun you had making friendship bracelets and playing color wars?
Are kids still doing this nowadays?
I hate to say it, but what we did during summer vacation probably isn’t cool anymore. While we have
such fond memories that we would like to replicate for our children, it may not be for them.
I won’t tell anyone if you need to cry in the bathroom for a moment after your kid says no to
the sleepaway camp you had gone to and dreamed of them attending as well.
But here’s the awesome part, not only does your child get to make their own summer
memories, but you get to make new ones with your child!
You get to make new traditions with them because summer shouldn’t only be fun and games
for littles, but for us big people too!
Make it a tradition to choose summer activities together by writing down all the ones
you both like, putting them in a jar, and taking turns pulling notes. Not only will it take some of the
stress out of deciding, but now you and your little have a new game to play every spring in
preparation for summer vacation!
After signing up, have your little help you make a large calendar! This will not only be fun to do
together but provide them security in knowing what to expect. Then make it part of the routine
to cross off each day as they happen and talk about what each of you did. Don’t forget to share
some of your day with them too!
Both you and your little will benefit from you taking a day off here and there.
I’m not talking about a planned vacation. I’m talking about the surprise day to sleep in, run
through the sprinklers, eat ice cream for lunch kind of summer hooky.
Your kiddo will feel so special that you took off work to hang out with them, and I guarantee
that you’ll feel special too!
While you’re making the summer calendar, ask your kid if there are things they would like to do
with you. Save this list for yourself and surprise them on hooky days.
Even if you cannot just ditch work, schedule some random days off and keep it a secret from
your little. It’ll make the day so much fun when they realize what’s happening.
There are plenty of kids who need routine and know what to expect. They will still love having
special days with you, but they’ll need to be part of the planning.
Integrate these days into the calendar making. Have a separate jar for hooky days of activities
to choose from that are just special for you and your little to do together.
On these days, it is especially important to put your phone away as much as possible and be in
I promise work and Instagram and Facebook and emails will still be there when your fun is done. Communicate with your
colleagues and set boundaries around this day. They will respect you for it too.