Updated: Jul 7
Summer vacation has officially begun. Now, I know that some of you have been off for a while, but some of us seem to be moving out of the "honeymoon phase" now that July 4th has come and gone.
So, now that there are no more pencils, books, as the focus of your day... are you sighing a deep sigh of relief, feeling the shift of energy - the summer slowdown? Or is it just more of the same old, same old of you scurrying around trying to fit everything in?
On the one hand, you remember those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer - spent outside, not really scheduled, pretty much unsupervised, barely staying out of trouble. And look back on them with fondness. They were a period of great growth (more on that in a later post). Carefree is the word that comes to mind.
On the other hand, you worry - you worry for your child's health and safety, you worry about his school opening back up, you worry about grades, you worry about being and doing "enough", you worry about your responsibilities at work, you worry about the "Summer Slide" (the considerable loss of academics that happens in the 9 weeks or so off from school), and the worry list goes on and on and on...
But now, here we. And it's your job to have it all figured out' find that perfect balance. "Carefree" seems an impossibility.
So, here are my 5 R's to the best summer ever
RELEASE: Let go of the shoulda's and coulda's, let go of the what ifs, and the not-good-enoughs. We like to hold on to to these thoughts because it’s familiar and, in some way, comforting - even though it causes us stress. (Read more about how to do that here.) Because ultimately, not knowing how to let go harms you: It prevents you from achieving your true potential.
RELISH: Savor the moments. Don't worry about what's happening next, tomorrow, or September. You cannot predict the future (and if you can, please give me a call immediately - I have a bunch of questions). Enjoy the time you're having this very moment. Focus on the positive
RELAX: Breathe deep. Deep breaths stimulates the *parasympathetic nervous system (The part of the involuntary nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles.) which promotes a state of calmness. This quiets your mind, gets you out of your head, and helps you to feel more connected to your body so that you free yourself from the worries. *The part of the involuntary nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles.
REVEL IN EACH OTHER: Whenever you look at your kid, especially when feel yourself about to lose it, remember 3 things that you love about him/her, or 3 things s/he does to make you smile. A simple exercise that puts a whole new spin on things.
READ: Read to each other. Read with each other. Read next to each other. Read anything - books, papers, magazines, comics, cereal boxes. Just read. Everyday. Because leaders are readers.
6. RECONNECT: Unplug a little every day - no phone, no tablet, no computer, no TV. Connections are strengthened when electronics aren't involved.
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"Mary Kerwin has made a tremendous difference in my family's life. My son, Ross, first knew her as his elementary school teacher and, later, as his tutor. Ross had learning differences and physical challenges, and Mary taught him with skill and sensitivity, always acting as his advocate. Mary has been a source of support and inspiration for our entire family."
Mary Kerwin is a mom, grandma, teacher, coach, beach lover, and founder of Confident Kids Now,
She helps PARENTS go from good to great and parent confidently from their hearts instead of making parenting decisions from a place of FEAR,