Look around: Your kids are counting sleeps until last day of school, local outdoor swimming pool is open, and temperature has sky-rocketed. Summer is here! Are you still stuck in your winter routine? The one filled with rushing around to after school programs, play dates and endless birthday parties. Do you still feel pressure of hurrying your kids to catch school bus and rushing out after them to deliver lunch that little Amanda forgot on table? Summer is here! Time to relax!
Summertime is a time to relax some of our daily routines, allowing more flexibility into our lives. The holidays are often a time where we anticipate lots of wonderful family time together to create and share experiences that are timeless. Yet many parents dread some of practical challenges of getting through summer. Many people can't afford to totally disengage from routine of work and adult commitments to spend as much time with their children as they would like. Don't get caught up in "all or nothing" mindset - even small changes in your daily schedule can go a long way to helping your child feel like priority in your day.
Creating more time in a busy adult life is easier if you follow these five simple steps:
1. Identify barriers blocking flexibility in your schedule.<.b> Look for areas in your schedule that can be traded off for more time with your children.
2. Address each issue identified above and rate as flexible or inflexible. For example, a weekly team meeting would rank as an inflexible activity whereas an hour at gym after dinner would rank as flexible. 3. Engage your child in planning of shared time. Make sure time you spend together is valuable. Plan activities that you both will enjoy and that allow for parent / child interactions.
4. Be Mindful. Remember, you can't be everything to everybody. Sometimes your commitments as an adult conflict with your commitments as a parent. When conflicts arise, talk to your children to explain situation and let them know how you feel.
5. Respect. Everyone needs time alone. Remember to respect your and your child's need for "me" time