Happy Labor Day! Well, this is it. The last day of summer!
To be honest, saying goodbye to summer is not easy for me. In our family, summers are a wonderful time. Being away from the stress of school works like magic. The daily struggles, conflicts, and battles seem to melt away with the heat of the summer.
It's not perfect, we still have our challenging moments, but they are few and far between. It gives us all a chance to relax and recharge before the start of the new academic year.
But you know, summers weren't always that way. With three boys at home, two of them with ADHD, you can imagine the ruckus in my house. It was quite chaotic at times.
Amazingly, something I did a long time ago started to make summers easier and easier.
It's an exercise I call:
REFLECT ON HOW IT WENT
Every year at the end of summer, I take a moment to reflect on everything that happened. I remember all the fun activities we did together, all the good conversations or funny moments and spend a few minutes being grateful for those times.
I look for patterns in the activities that made it enjoyable and take note. Here are some things I noticed this summer.
Things my son thrives on:
Having a say
Feeling in control
Respecting his space
Then I take notice of all the things that were challenging. I look for moments of conflict or meltdowns and write those down.
Things my son struggles with:
Filling up his day with my activities
Abrupt changes in schedule or routine
Asking too many questions
Invading his space
Do you see a pattern? The things that make him struggle are the opposite of the things that help him thrive? That's usually the case. But I didn't know what things until I did this exercise.
And did you notice how many of those things I am in control of or have the power to change? Shifting my approach with my son can make all the difference. What I expect of him and how I talk to him can be the difference between a fond memory or an epic meltdown.
I take what I learn about our summers, shift my approach and expectations with things that I can control, and then include my son in activities that help him thrive. And finally, I share it with others in his life (teachers, coaches, counselors, and family).
Taking the time to pause, reflect, and respond in a way that helps my son thrive has made all the difference!
So Before your SUMMER becomes a distant memory... try this exercise!
REFLECT ON HOW IT WENT
What were the highlights? What are things you definitely want to do again?
What were your challenges? What did you learn from those challenges?
Now, how will you apply what you've learned to help you child have a better year? What can you do to make a difference?
I'd love to hear your insights!
Here's to your Child's Success and Your Happiness!!