Hello friends – I’m so excited that so many of you have joined our private Facebook group, Parenting with Intention. Questions are flying and support is growing for our community of parents who want “more” than just books and quick tips – but truly want to be intentional about parenting and creating a village of support as we muck through parenting together.
Well, it’s here. We’re into the full swing of summer – COVID spikes and all. It’s as if summer says, “I’m still here, promising long days outside and full, sunny days, even if you are not ready to fully welcome me.” Amidst so much uncertainly and social unrest, summer comes in with its blanket of warmth and offers relaxation and reprieve. While we are well into July, we’re already looking at school’s return this fall.
And yet, there’s still time for summer reset. Kids and families need a few weeks of calm, if possible.
Here are 5 ideas to reset with your kids this summer. Even if it’s just a few, short weeks.
Detox from screens. If you haven’t done this, I highly recommend it. Given how much time kids spent on screens this spring – between distance learning and social connections, their brains need a reset. Put away phones, tablets and video games, or considerably lessen their allowed time. Place phones in baskets during meals, creating charging stations and take time to pause on video games. This goes for us as parents, too. For more information, check this out: Digital Detox.
Get embodied. Embodiment means being present and experiencing life in our bodies. During quarantine and unrest, our bodies need movement and presence with our senses. Get outside. Stretch. Dig your fingers into sand and dirt. Look into someone’s eyes and experience presence. Play. Here’s a great resource from a colleague of mine, Dr. Dodson-Magee:
Play local. I’m as sad as you are, my friends, at all of the canceled fun this summer. Sports, vacations, camps, and gatherings have been canceled and limited. So, go find new spots. Go on day hikes. Find places in your state you’ve never explored or support a little business or restaurant in an neighborhood you’ve not visited. Go for a long drive and get lost in conversation with your kids. They’ll bemoan you at first; but they’ll remember these experiences forever. Here’s a fun idea: Google “hikes near me for families” – I literally hit a hiking jackpot. Let your kids pick a spot!
Be social, but be safe. I understand that we all want to spend time with other people – we’re social beings. But safety is paramount right now. So, find time to be social and safe. Maybe it means physically distanced chats in your neighborhood or playdates outside on bikes. Perhaps, it’s camping with friends outdoors or kayaking on the river. You can be social and still find safety. If you haven’t had a chance to read last week’s newsletter on what is developmentally appropriate for kids and mask-wearing – click here.
Unwind. Find some moments over the next few weeks to lean into rest. This spring, there was a surge of home improvement projects, puzzles, frenetic home-schooling and restlessness as we struggled with what to do during mandatory stay-at-home time. But, summer begs lazy days and rest. Let your kids build forts, climbing structures, and play in sprinklers. Get out paints and bubbles and jump ropes. Lay in the grass, check out stars and go camping in your own back yard. It’s important that we allow ourselves time to rest, especially with so much going on in our world and in our country.
This fall will be here and schools, in whatever format, will be here before we know it. So recharge and reconnect. Take time to rest and find reprieve. Your kids will thank you for modeling the self-care and relationship tending that these ideas provide.
It’s not to late to reset for this summer – our kids’ minds and hearts need some calm from all of the chaos more than ever.
I hope to see you inside our Facebook group, or drop me a line and let me know how your summer is going.
P.S. Join our FB group here – see you soon!