As summer break begins or quickly approaches, it’s quite common to hear parents stressed out over this additional time with their kids. Not being acclimated to having their kids home all day, summertime and other school breaks can often be a great source of anxiety for people who just aren’t used to having their kids around all the time.
Unless you happen to be a homeschooling family, you’re simply used to having the kids gone for a good portion of each weekday between school, after-school programs, and extracurricular activities. So today I’m going to share some advice about how to handle being around your kids all day. Now be forewarned- it may just be the most counterintuitive parenting advice you’ve ever heard, but hear me out on this.
Are you ready?? Here goes…
The best way to learn how to tolerate having your kids around all the time is to spend MORE time with them.
Surprised? I don’t blame you. The first time I ever heard that advice I thought the person was out of her mind.
Spend MORE time with them?? Ridiculous, right?
I used to think so…until I actually did it.
Here’s the thing. I haven’t always been a homeschooler. We’ve only been homeschooling for going on nine years, and my oldest is 23, so you know I’ve spent quite a bit of time as a public school mom.
Having had experience on both ends- kids gone most of the day vs. kids home most of the day, I’m going to tell you that the most tried and true methods used by parents every summer to “keep their kids busy” (aka- out of their hair) is probably not going to help the situation.
The problem is that we think we’re solving the situation when we sign our kids up for every program known to man over the summer, but, in fact, it will only help to perpetuate the issue at hand, which is this:
You will never learn how to handle being around your kids if you’re never with them.
Think about it. When we buy a pair of shoes, we walk around in them all the time so that we get used to them.
When our kids try a new food or a new activity that they don’t particularly enjoy, we, as parents, encourage them to continue eating said item or attending said activity in the hopes that they’ll get used to it.
In fact, how often has your child come up to you with something they were stressed out over, only for you to say, “Oh, you’ll get used to it”?
Why don’t we take our own advice? Instead of tackling this particular issue head on, we run. We fill up our kids’ schedules until they’re bursting, instead of allowing ourselves to get used to being around them.
And, yeah, it may seem easier that way. After all, summer break only lasts a couple of months, right?
But don’t you want more for your kids? Don’t you think that both you and your kids will benefit from a little- or a lot- more time together?
Isn’t it at least worth a shot? As much as I fought the idea at first, I know I did.
And I will never regret it.