DR. E. CAROL WEBSTER’S
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2013
The kids are out of school and enjoying great family fun. You love spending time with them during the summer but are already feeling the stress of keeping them active and entertained. Don’t get carried away. Do what you can to make the summer a great time of year for your family, but keep the reality of your circumstances in mind so that stress doesn’t get the best of you.
Only Do What You Can Afford
Everywhere you turn there are triggers to get you to spend. It’s easy to feel pressured to book a rip-roaring vacation — complete with new make-overs and outfits for everyone! Other triggers may make you feel that taking one trip is not enough. To really have a great summer, you’ve got to do lots of stuff. Before you know it, you’ve shelled out a lot of dough. Or, more likely, gotten yourself into a lot of debt to keep a smile on your kids’ faces. You’re going to feel stressed because you know you’re going way overboard. In addition to financial problems, the mounting stress you’re feeling is because you can see that the kids are never satisfied. And, as with many kids these days, probably don’t show much appreciation either. Stop signaling that “having fun” means ripping and running and spending money all the time. Help them learn restraint, to accept limitations, and that there are plenty of other ways to have fun.
Make Summer Learning Fun Too
Like most successful people, you’re a lifelong learner and can help your kids adopt the same continuous thirst for knowledge by incorporating educational activities into their summer schedules. This is a good time for them to participate in specialized achievement programs, enrichment camps, and leadership experiences, for example. Some can be pricey — but see how the cost stacks up against that of many vacations. You can probably figure out how to make both work if you scale back somewhere or opt for a staycation this year. Many summer programs are low cost or free. They are designed to provide youngsters with experiences they might not otherwise have during the school year, and keep them from excessive indulgence in activities that don’t contribute to their healthy growth and development. When you begin this while children are very young, they view “intellectual” activities as as much fun as other forms of play and pursue them on their own in their free time as they grow older.
Make Time for You
No matter what excitement you plan for the family, remember that you still need time for you. By all means spend as much time as you can enjoying them, but reserve time for yourself. Summer activities can be great fun, but they usually cause stress because of the travel demands, logistics, and need to “see and do it all” pace of today’s vacations. Those that involve visiting or hosting relatives and friends tend to require particularly great effort and emotional drain. You won’t get much rest on these types of vacations, so save time to give your mind and body a break – especially if this is your only time off during the summer.
Summer is a great time to enjoy family fun. But be prepared for the stress that comes along with it. Remember where it’s coming from. Help your kids enjoy this wonderful time of year with appreciation for family limits, and learn to accept your limitations too.
Enjoy These Other Success Articles
Summer is Great Time for Power Couples to Recharge and Reconnect
Take Time for Vacation
Take Time to Rejuvenate Yourself
About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at http://drcarolwebster.com or call 954.797.9766.
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317
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