Summertime…..and the living is easy. I always have these visions of days spent lounging on the beach, swimming in a clear blue pool, sipping cool drinks with little umbrellas in them. Maybe a little skipping through a meadow filled with flowers thrown in. The reality for most parents though? Juggling children, carpooling to camp and doing household chores with little ones under foot which means that summer can be overwhelming and lead to a chaotic couple of months.
So what do we do? Give in to the chaos and live in a perpetual state of stress all summer long? Even though sometimes it seems like summer is actually the hardest time of the year as a parent, there ARE strategies that you can use to make it much calmer and more relaxing.
Managing Summer Chaos
Below are some great tips to help you manage summer chaos, and enjoy the sunshine as much as possible!
1. Encourage your children to get off their phones/tablets and get outside! In the summer your kids have no excuse but to run around in the backyard and burn off excess energy. Do they go outside for 5 minutes and then complain of boredom? Pick up a few inexpensive items from the dollar store like sidewalk chalk and paint, buckets, sponges, and paintbrushes (they can “paint” the hot driveway with water or play sponge tag), messy painting supplies that you won’t mind them using in the backyard. You can use this time to get to that huge pile of dishes or laundry that has been piling up. To clean all those dirty clothes and remove the grass stains your kids drag in, why not use Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ Cold Water Power Paks, an inexpensive and reliable product that will leave your kids clothes looking as good as new.
2. Stay healthy! Between soccer practice, summer camp and swim lessons summer often means eating quick on-the-go meals. Plan ahead for those meals with simple nutritious ideas that travel well – raw veggies, hummus, hardboiled eggs, piece of cheese, fruit. Stick a cold pack in a cooler and you’re all set! And give your kids L’il Critters™ Gummy Vites™, a complete multivitamin that any kid will love, to ensure your children are getting all of their essential nutrients!
3. Keep a routine! Ok, I get it. Everyone wants to kick back a little bit during the summer. And some unscheduled time now and then can be good for everyone. But for the most part, you’ll want to ensure that you and your children keep a routine during the summer months even if you’ve turned off the alarm clock. Sleeping in and staying up late are great, but will lead to unproductive days. When my daughter was little we would have theme days during the summer. I’d post them on the calendar and she’d have something fun to look forward to! Getting your children excited about boring tasks, like brushing their teeth and completing household chores, will also help your children keep a routine during the summer. Arm & Hammer Kid’s Spinbrush and Orajel Flouride and Flouride-Free Toothpastes that tastes great and comes in popular Kids characters such as My Little Pony, Mario, Spiderman and new PAW Patrol to get them brushing all summer long because mom knows when brushing is fun, it gets done.
4. Get the kids to help with some chores! Having an extra set of hands around the house during the summer can be helpful and it builds skills and confidence. Remember, one day they will be grown up and moving out of your house – you want them to be prepared! Talk with your kids and see what type of chores they can help with – emptying the dishwasher and setting the table are easy tasks that can give you back a few minutes of your day. Having kids fold the laundry is also a great help, and you can trust what they are folding will receive a better overall clean with OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover Powder – which boosts your detergent power to get out even the toughest stains.
5. Build in some fun! Everyone likes a little motivation to get through the sometimes mundane everyday life. Plan a few getaways – even if only for a couple of days at a time or organize a staycation (camping in the backyard anyone?). And remember the small moments too. Load up in the car for an after dinner ice cream run, lie out in the backyard searching the night sky for constellations (or watching the Perseid meteor shower in August), show your kids how to catch and release fireflies. It only takes a moment to build a memory.
6. Give yourself a break. Hire a local teen to act a mother’s helper a couple mornings a week, keeping the kids amused while you have some time to do what you want/need to do. Sign your child up for day camp or sleep-away camp. Even just a free one hour program at the library can give you some much needed time to yourself.
What are your biggest tips to manage summer chaos?
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