Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Surviving the family get together s!

As I  have just finished a family get together this weekend, it has gotten me thinking about summer vacations and  how we often have to spend a lot of time 'figuring' out what activities we can do, how long we can stay, what's important to us a family. Our lives are busy, and often need to be structured, scheduled, planned. We need to have Plan A, B and often times a  'C' in our pockets- and know that that's OK!! I had a trunk full of different activities, changes of clothes, food, and toys that would ensure that my son had what he would need to enjoy the days that are always a lot of fun when we are all together for a reunion, but can be loud, disorganized and 'silly' ( as he told me often..) We  had a super weekend, spent time with family, made memories. He had the chance to participate when he wanted to, played a wild game of Frisbee tag with the cousins, sat around the campfire & told a great ghost story. He also had a designated quiet room in the cottage, when he needed to regroup and chairs placed strategically around at varying distances between the group and the cottage, and his bike handy for those sensory breaks he needed. It worked! So I put together a few ideas that may help with the remainder of the summer. Hope you are all enjoying this great weather we are finally having on the Island! I wanted to share a picture from our shore that I took over the weekend. Find your peace, celebrate at the pace you need for you and your family & enjoy the summer. We discovered the fun of kayaking this weekend, I am going to attempt to teach my son how to kayak...will keep you posted on that!

These tips may help throughout the summer months, or any 'down time' really that happens throughout the year, when the regular schedules are not happening. I still need to remind myself to write it down, even daily what is happening. When it's posted on the fridge, it is amazing how much less stressful  it can be. 
  • Keep a routine. For many of our kids, structure is key. Set a routine for meals, errands, play time, family chores. Routine helps remove boredom.
  • Focus on therapy and acquiring new skills. Fitting in therapies during the school year can be a real challenge. Take advantage of available time to focus on areas for growth. Consider finding a tutor for challenging subjects to help keep your child from losing hard-won skills in math and reading.
  • Enjoy a less hectic pace for a while. While we live in a culture that glorifies “busy,” it is okay to step off the merry-go-round and enjoy a pace that is slower than the world around you.
  • Explore the outdoors. Children are inside for hours each day at school. Take advantage of summer as a time to get outside and explore parks, beaches, and walking trails. find something in your area, or community that suits your son/daughters interest and focus. If mobility is a challenge consider a tagalong trailer for a bike. Check your own yard for bird nests and enjoy watching the new family grow.
  • Check out programs at the local library. Libraries are a treasure trove of child friendly activities and resources. The best part? They are free!
  • Water is wonderful in the summer heat. We have some amazing beaches on this Island, we can often find some that are quiet , also if you prefer a pool ask what times may be quieter and go then. No pool in your area? Create your own backyard water fun with sprinklers or an inexpensive wading pool.
  • Remember self-care. Parenting becomes 24/7 when children are home from school. With high needs children this can be especially tiring to the caregiver. Tag team with your spouse or other adult when you need a break. Schedule a night out as often as you can in order to nurture your most important relationships. Take time to do things you enjoy.

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