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Keep Your Cool This Summer: 5 Ideas for Parenting Breaks

Tips for parents to help manage summertime stress and frustration with these ideas for much needed parenting breaks.

The beginning of summer and a break from school work is a time that students look forward to. However, this time of year can create added stress for parents, especially if your child struggles with hyperactivity, impulsivity or frequent sensory meltdowns. Here are five parenting tips for summer to make sure that both students and parents are rested and refreshed during the sunny respite.

1. Schedule Time That Isn't Scheduled

Pick one or two days during the week where nothing is planned and you don't need to mesh your child's schedule with yours. This will help take some of the pressure off your child to stick to a schedule and enjoy some much needed down time.

2. Boredom is Just Fine

When raising kids with ADHD or focus concerns, don't feel the need to keep your child occupied every minute of the day in order to keep them happy. When a child says "I'm bored," resist the urge to fill that gap for them with a Pinterest-worthy science experiment. Children will make remarkable use of unstructured time by using creative play and their imaginations. Rely on the words our parents used to tell us as kids: "Go outside and play!"

3. Make Classroom Contacts

Has your child formed a friendship with a student previously this year? Make it a point to gather the family's contact information from your child's teacher before summer begins. Being able to continue this friendship through the summer will help your child continue healthy social connections, and also give you a parenting break while the kids play together virtually.

4. Mandatory Quiet Time

Work with your child to schedule a 30-minute or one-hour block of each day that will be designated "quiet time." This is when everyone in the house will retreat to their rooms for a short period of quiet. You can even break this into smaller chunks more frequently throughout the day. These parenting breaks are a good chance for both kids and parents to rest, nap, read, or just zone out. 

5. Exercise is Great Stress Relief

Involve your child in a daily exercise that you can both enjoy together. It can be a few yoga poses, a quick jog or walk around the block, or a bike ride around the neighborhood. Another great idea is to make an obstacle course in the backyard using regular household items. The physical activity can be a welcome release for both you and your child after a hot summer's day.

When it's summertime and the days are supposed to be easy, breezy, and fun, don't forget to pause and make sure that your frustration isn't running as hot as the thermometer.

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