Ask the Coach — Week 4

This is the column where, each week, I’ll be answering one website visitor’s question in hopes of encouraging and inspiring you all through your shared (and likely, relevant) challenges, triumphs, and struggles.

Dear Kerri,

With the school year coming to an end and my four, beautiful children home for the summer, how can I balance patience, love, fun and me time without losing my mind? My hope is for us all to have an enjoyable summer and make some great memories to laugh about in the fall.

Signed,
Sweating the Summer

Dear Sweating the Summer,

Good news! You’re way ahead of the pack to even be thinking about a plan. 🙂 Many parents just grin and bear it, and forget themselves for the summer. Just because it’s school break for the kiddos doesn’t mean your needs get shelved for a couple months.

Try and keep somewhat of a “norm” for the kids. They’re used to being around their peers — interacting, playing, and learning. And they’re used to the rigidity of school schedules and demands. By letting the pendulum swing in the complete other direction — meaning a summer full of free, unstructured time — you’re asking for trouble.

Avoid long periods of time where the kids are just hanging out at home. They’ll be bored and you’ll be aggravated — a recipe for arguments. Are there programs or camps in your area that you could have them participate in to keep some sort of routine during parts of the break? By being thoughtful about their summer activities, they’ll continue to be engaged and you’ll get some time for yourself.

Remember to include yourself in the planning of summer fun. Schedule some girls’ nights out, date nights with your spouse, maybe even an overnight visit to a friend or family member.

Creating happy memories stems from being together out of excitement and desire, not guilt and obligation. So while you’ll most likely be spending some time this summer doing things that aren’t necessarily on your bucket list, by making sure you take more time for yourself than you think you need, you’ll be able to be more joyfully present for those activities that matter to your kids.

Here’s to a summer of fun!

Cheers,
Kerri
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To have your question considered for Ask the Coach, simply send an email keeping the following guidelines in mind:

  • Be specific. Make sure your question is clearly stated to prevent any misinterpretation. That way, you’ll be sure to have your specific need addressed.
  • Keep it under 150 words. Any emails longer than the specified limit will be ineligible for selection.
  • You only need to send your question once. While only one of the emails sent in a specific week will be answered, I’ll be keeping eligible emails for possible use in future columns. Be sure to keep checking back each week, not only to see if yours was selected, but to also check out the one that was. Chances are each week’s question can pertain to your life in some way!
  • Only emails selected for publication will be answered. Due to the volume received, I am only able to answer the weekly selected question.
  • By submitting a question, you are authorizing its use on this website.
  • Submissions may be edited and/or shortened for content and length purposes.

To read the archive of Ask the Coach, click here. To submit your question, go ahead and send an email