Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Tip: Surviving Summer's Last Hurrah

I sense that summer is coming to an end and I have mixed emotions about it.  On the one hand, day camp and swim team have ended, the kids are eternally "bored" and the heat and humidity have pretty much lost their charm. On the other hand, I really love the beach, the pool, our more relaxed summer routine and the longer days that allow me to cram more into my busy life. 

As you may know, last week we were on vacation; our annual trek to Cape Cod included building sand castles, collecting hermit crabs and eating lots of donuts, ice cream and pizza. It occurred to me while we were away that these last weeks of summer are a bit like the last days of disco -- reckless, carefree and full of overindulgence.  As we get back into the swing of things this week, I've created some Lyons Den ground rules for surviving these lingering summer days while maximizing the enjoyment they bring. 

  1. Back to Basics:  Some simple rules that were suspended for summertime are now back in session.  Bedtime is at 8:00, reading time is mandatory and snack time has to include a "healthy" option -- some yogurt, a piece of fruit or maybe some cheese and crackers.  It's been grand playing with the kids long past their bedtime and looking the other way as they stuffed themselves with "fruit" snacks and chocolate chip granola bars but with the start of the school year a month away, now is the time to start the good, healthy habits that will start the year off right.
  2. No More Nos:  I'm at the point where the shrill shriek of my own voice is annoying.  I'm sick of saying NO!  "No running in the house.  No biting. No, that poop did not "just fall out" on the floor!"  Ok, well, that last example may have been oversharing but sometimes potty training triplets has some nasty side effects.  In any case, I'm sure I'm not alone in the overuse of the "NO", especially as summer marches on and the kids seem ever more committed to push us to our limits.  But, with just a few weeks left, I'm doing my best to practice what parenting experts have been preaching for ages and turn these negatives into positives.  As in "Outside would be a great place to run if you want to!"  or "If you feel like biting, here's an apple!" (This is a great way to work in that aforementioned healthy snack!) and "That's great, I'm so glad you didn't poop in your pants!  Next time let's try to make it to the potty though, ok?"
  3. Have fun. I literally wrote this down on our family calendar.  I also wrote down the bedtime reminders, snacking rules and a prompt to locate and read the library books that have gone MIA.  That said, summer isn't over yet and I'm all for sneaking in a few more ice pops, offering lemonade instead of milk with dinner and milking every ounce of enjoyment we can out of the summer of 2011 before it becomes a fond memory.

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