Hello, dear conscious parent 💟!
Today I want to talk about planning for summer vacation – which in the United States starts in 14 days. Most parents are already “booking” their child for different summer camps, activities, family reunions, reading/math tutoring, different sports etc. At one point or another, all of us fell into this trap, myself included.
As Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted, it is only natural that we want to “make up” for the losses in social activities during the pandemic. I do not oppose this idea. I am also a big advocate of sports, travel, and any outdoors activities we can engage our children in. However, today, I want to remind you that doing stuff with your child does not equal being with your child. Here’s what I mean by this:
- as much as children want and need to be actively engaged in “doing stuff”, they equally NEED to feel connected to you;
- your child loses easily and many times a day their sense of connection with you; this dis-connection shows up in unwanted or chaotic behavior; if a parent lacks attunement and understanding of the situation, he/she will automatically focus on fixing the behavior, which will only lead to more dis-connection, more rupture, and more emotional pain for everyone involved;
- we tend to overschedule our children out of UNCONSCIOUS FEAR: of missing out, of being judged for poor parenting, of connection, of vulnerability.
- make “slowing down” a priority; your body could use a break from the cortisol that toxic stress creates constantly;
- make “doing nothing together” a ritual, at least once a week, or every day in small time dosages;
- make 1:1 time with each child a daily ritual;
- make time to listen to their cries, complaints, disappointment, and anger;
- play to connect daily if you can; follow your child’s lead and take the less powerful role;
- make your own mental and emotional health a priority for the summer.