Managing the summer holidays as a working parent

“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed.” – Linda Wooten

Managing children’s expectations during summer holidays while needing to work can be challenging, but it’s essential to create a positive and fulfilling experience for them. Here are five tips to help you achieve that:

1. Set clear expectations from the beginning: Communicate openly with your children about your work commitments during the summer holidays. Let them know your schedule and when you’ll be available to spend time with them.

2. Plan quality time together: Schedule specific periods throughout the day when you can be fully present with your children. Having designated bonding moments will show them they are a priority in your life.

On that note, getting out (by yourself or with kids) and meeting other people will help you with stress management, as your nervous system will co-regulate with others’ to help you find calm and resourcefulness.

3. Involve them in planning activities: Include your children in the process of planning fun activities for the summer. It makes them feel valued and ensures their interests are considered.

4. Encourage independence and creativity: Encourage your children to engage in independent play and exploration, promoting enjoyable and beneficial experiences for their development.

5. Be flexible and adaptable: Unexpected work demands may arise, so show your children that you can adjust and find alternative ways to spend time together.

Try and take a global view of the holidays, such as how many times you might be able to do something out of the ordinary or even get out in the fresh air over the 6-week period, rather than over the course of a week. After all, the summer holidays are a chance for your children to rest and have unstructured time to learn and play. They may be satisfied with little input from you, depending on their personality.

Remember, it’s natural for children to feel disappointed if they don’t get as much time with you as they’d like. Being understanding and empathetic while communicating clearly will manage their expectations and foster a supportive environment during the summer holidays.

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