I really love summer, but I also happen to work part-time and have older kids, neither of whom are big on sports, camps or planned activities. So it's pretty easy for me to feel relaxed about it. That said, I've consciously cultivated that attitude in opposition to the general trend all around us to plan everything up.
By now, my minimalist parenting leanings are no surprise. But I wanted to share two links I hope will help you think differently about summer, especially if you're feeling panicked about the months ahead.
I wrote "The relaxed parent's guide to summer vacation" for The Week in an effort to hit the big points.
To many parents, the prospect of bored kids and an XBox beckoning from the basement is enough to make a summer full of planned activities seem like the most attractive option.
But I would argue that summertime doesn't have to be either-or. There's a sweet spot between "planned" and "free-range." Sure, it looks different for each family based on childcare needs, budgets, ages and number of kids, and interests. But it's there. Here's how to find yours. [Continue reading at The Week] →
A few days after that post went up, I ran into Mir's summer manifesto for big kids over at Alpha Mom. Her writing is always superb, and she brings context to her list with a loving reminder that the kids are growing up.
Call me a sap if you must (you wouldn’t be the first one), but once both my kids hit the teens, it really sank in that yes, they do grow up and aren’t going to be here with me forever. Their childhoods are going to be over in a few short years. This fills me with a mixture of panic over all I still want to instill in them before they’re no longer under my roof and wistfulness for simpler times, when teenagers weren’t expected to spend their summers doing things that will look amazing on their college applications. [Continue reading at Alpha Mom] →
How are you feeling as summer gets underway? Hopes? Worries? Wondering what all the fretting's about? Let's talk about it in the comments.