How to Save Your Family's Summer (from the Summer Doldrums)

Jul 08, 2022

Are you hitting a wall this summer?

The Summer Doldrums?

The kids are complaining, “Mom, it's too hot to go outside.” and then they hole up in their rooms, online?

What do you do?

 

We're experiencing this right now. It's a lack of structure in the summer.

It can be glorious because we get to relax and let go, and completely unsettling because our bodies need regularity, structure.

 

That's why things became unhinged during the early pandemic days - we had lost the predictability of our schedules and routines (aka, school) and there was so much uncertainty.

Has that happened with your summer?

It's cool. Seriously. Take a breath. And let's see what you've learned.

Get your kids involved with this conversation:

What is working right now?

And what are you learning?

 

In our home, we've learned that while the teenage brain stays awake so much longer than the adults who think 9pm is a solid bedtime... some things aren't supportive:

1) computer games at night

2) wanting to play computer until "satisfied" -- that's not an endpoint, it's a slippery slope

3) noticing that other things are not as enticing as the allure of video games.

 

These discussions are best held at a different time, meaning, not while on the computer.

And it's not about cutting back - it's about what can you add in?

 

Add in structure?

Predictability?

Fun?

Movement?

I notice that I, too, have been drawn to my phone first thing in the AM, and last thing at night. Well that isn't helping me... it's strengthening a habit of doing it more and more.

So I notice how I want to reach for my phone in the morning.

And I get up and get coffee.

How I "just wanna" check... and I sit and meditate.

And when I "just wanna check the news" before bed - I turn it off, so I can instead take a few moments for gratitude and reflection.

 

The structure is what we create. We define the routine.

We are firming up bedtimes, lights out, and getting outside of the house more. Because we all benefit: from sunlight, movement, and disconnection from electronics. 

None of it is perfect. But it works. And it's getting easier and easier everyday.


What about you? How are you creating, and perhaps re-inventing the structure for your family's summer?

Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!

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