Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Balancing Kids' Summer Plans with Your Work Life

Like most of us, you must be wondering where the time has gone. Didn't it seems like only yesterday you were buying backpacks and lunch boxes in preparation for the school year?

For families, June is a busy month with graduation parties, little league finals and music recitals. And right around the corner is summer vacation - lazy days for kids but stressful for working parents. If you haven't made your plans yet, here are some ideas to help you create a work/family balance:

Photo courtesy of Photostock

Stay flexible. To minimize your anxiety and maximize time with your kids, try to negotiate a flexible work schedule. Even if you only take the odd morning off or leave early once in a while, find someone to cover for you. Downtime to rejuvenate is important for you and for the wellbeing of your family.

Arrange creative child care. There must be plenty of responsible teenagers in your neighborhood who are looking for a part-time summer job. Or why not organize a co-op or a weekly swap with friends? Don't forget your kids' grandparents or other family members who always say they want to see them more often.

Plan a staycation. Arrange a family meeting and encourage a discussion about what activities they would like. With a democratic process and everyone having a voice, you'll ensure cooperation. Think about visiting a local museum, playing beach volleyball, attending an outdoor concert. If money is an issue, several day trips or weekend camping trips can make the whole family feel recharged and reconnected.

Embrace boredom. Encourage your kids to use their imagination and discover their own ways to keep busy - a lemonade stand on the corner, watching home movies, planting a small garden, walking the dog, swimming in the community pool. It could be fun to play board games, ride bikes or shoot hoops with friends on the block.

We want to hear from you - click on "Comments" at the bottom of this post and share your ideas about how to keep your kids engaged during summer vacation. And log on Wednesday for more practical tips about reducing your summer stress.

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