• Beating summer overload

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    JOCELYN LAUREL

    Summer is just around the bend, and soon, school will be out for most kids. It may be a time to relax, but it can also be a challenge for many parents, as they struggle to keep their kids from getting bored, while trying to create memories that hopefully, they will remember long after the end of summer.

    Many schools realize that learning should never stop, and thus, offer school-based summer programs which offer fun ways to approach learning without feeling like “school.”

    However, it is helpful to remember that although summer is filled with activities, there is also a limit to how much you expose your child to. While many activities can be beneficial, too many can lead to “summer overload.”

    What we need to remember is that it is equally important to allow kids enough free time during the summer months to play quietly, think, and yes, to be bored! Just think, for example, how the musical compositions of Mozart and Beethoven happened … certainly not through overstimulation, but their inspiration more likely came about when they were collect in their thoughts and reflective.

    With careful planning, however, and keeping these practical tips in mind, parents can save their kids from falling into the “Summer Overload Syndrome.”

    Choose only one big activity each month. For example, have your child take swimming lessons or enroll in an art camp in April; in May, enjoy a family vacation, etc. Remember that by cramming each month with too many activities, you run the risk of overwhelming your child and reduce the chance for growth and creativity.

    Create summer surprise boxes. Fill one box with arts and crafts materials (all kinds of paper, scissors, glue, crayons, coloring pens, stickers, etc. Fill another box with old clothes, hats, costume jewelry, sunglasses, wigs, etc. Then fill yet another box with old magazines, glitter, scissors, poster paint, colored sand, etc. You would have created three discovery boxes for quiet moments that will engage your kids and release their creativity.

    Opt for shorter weekend trips rather than long family vacations. Short trips tend to work better for families who find it difficult to travel long distances. Several shorter trips also give the family something new to look forward to.

    Don’t forget the books. One of the best activities for your children to be involved in during the summer, is continued reading. Not only will it help them retain what they learned in school, but will keep their minds and imaginations sharp as well. Whether they can read themselves, or you read to them, it is worth spending the extra time to help them read each day.

    Don’t forget to plan a summer countdown. At least two weeks before your child starts school, plan for gradual “down time” to get your child back on a more normal schedule. This will ease the transition to the school year with going to bed early, getting up early, limiting TV time, etc.

    With the kids out of school coupled with an already packed workweek, stress levels are bound to escalate, especially for working moms. “And when internal and external pressures at work and at home begin to rise, experts warn that the end result may be a summer burn that no SPF can handle: burnout,” jokes Lindsey Pollack, a US career expert.

    According to international speaker and President of Negotiating Women, Inc., Carol Frohlinger, JD, “Women have more stress because the expectations of women are higher or at least different than they are of men … everybody feels the need to reach a high level of achievement in the workplace, male or female; but for women in addition to the bar that’s been set high at work, there’s an equally high bar that’s been set at home.”

    Oftentimes, in our attempt to be the “perfect” mom to our kids, we put so much pressure on ourselves to reach that perfection; and that would be the biggest stress obstacle to hurdle.

    Instead of thinking about how stressful it might be to entertain our children over the next few months, think about all the wonderful things you can do with them and how much more time you can spend enjoying their laughter and company.

    After all, whoever said that summer is just for kids? It’s a great time to give yourselves a break too! So, sit back, kick off your shoes, enjoy an ice-cold piña colada and make memories together with your kids! Have a great summer!

    * * *

    Join CCE’s Summer School’s Cool 2017 programs for kids ages 1 to 9.

    Programs offered:
    Born to Be Wild – May 15-June 9 (age group: 1 to 2 years old)
    Learning in The Jungle – April 17-May 15 (age group: 2 to 3 years old)
    Mad Science version 3.0 – April 17-May 15 (age group: 3 to 5 years old)
    Reading Monster Mayhem – April 17-May 15 (age group: 3 to 7 years old)
    Little Chefs – April 17-May 15 (age group: 4 to 9 years old)
    Disney Summer Camp – April 17-May 15 (age group: 4 to 9 years old)
    Big Bang Theory – April 17-May 15 (a science program for grades 1 to 4)
    Math-e-Math-Tricks – April 17-May 15 (a math program for grades 4 to 6)
    For inquiries, please contact Ms. Cecille at (02)6354968-69 or Teacher She at 0917-5336899.
    You may also email me at joglaurel@gmail.com to get the full program description of each program.

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