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Summer survival guide |

Health And Family

Summer survival guide

MOMMY TALK - MOMMY TALK By Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan -
As soon as school was out, I excitedly asked my daughter Ella what she wanted to do for her summer vacation. I was quite surprised when she shared with me her thoughts. She said that all she wanted to do was to rest and enjoy her vacation, and not be pressured to do anything. She added that she hopes to learn to play the angklung when she resumes her classes. Wow, I was amazed at how she had her mind made up and realized how fast she is growing! At the same time, I didn’t really prepare myself for such a response and having a full-house during the summer was not something I expected or even looked forward to. Long before school was out, I had this summer planned out in my head to keep the little ones busy so as not to tire out poor little me. Well, now I have to repent for wanting the easy way out of my summer duties and be of service to my children. Ella’s response made me realize one thing: That I have to consider what my children also would like or are inclined to do. After all, it’s their vacation.

Here are some guidelines to help us survive this summer vacation:

Have a family meeting. Before finalizing plans for summer activities to engage in, sit down with your family to ask them what they want to do during their break. This will help assure them that their desires are not taken for granted.

Agree on a summer to-do list. It would be nice to agree on a theme for summer. That would give a mental picture of what you want to achieve so that all of you would look forward to a productive but not stressful summer break. For example, you can have a theme like "Explore the Philippines." Plan to visit different places in the country and get to know those places. You can agree to read at least two books about the place you’ve visited and find time to cook a delicacy from that region. Another example would be a theme like "Getting To Know My Family." Some activities would be: scrapbooking of photos and asking each member to put an anecdote about them, doing errands or chores that please each member like helping Mom cook dinner or a brother clean or decorate his room. The ideas are endless. What you need is an open mind and a goal to make the summer enjoyable for the whole family.

Block off dates. And take note of long holidays like the Holy Week break, open dates for out-of-town trips, etc. Maximize weekends and plan them out clearly. For example, weekend 1 – picnic with friends and movie, weekend 2 – baking at home and malling, etc. For children who are interested in taking enrichment lessons, adjust the overall schedule so that they won’t have to miss any of the classes.

Be flexible. You don’t have to confine yourself to being occupied. Be open to some "do nothing" days for the kids. Days that don’t involve specific activities. Just allow the children to hang around the house with some guidelines on the use of TV and time they want to spend with friends.

Have fun. And enjoy the opportunity to bond with your children, given the available time they have to spend out of school. Have a great summer!
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