By the end of the school year, everybody seems to be suffering from burnout. Too many tests, projects, and homework assignments seem to take their toll not only on students, but teachers and parents as well.
Lately, my kids have seemed more tired than usual, and we’re all counting down the days until summer vacation begins. I know many parents dread the summer, but for me, it’s a welcome pause in the constant rush that seems to permeate our weekdays. No more school lunches to plan, make, and pack. No more science projects. No more forms to fill. No more homework!
Even if you’re not looking forward to your kids being on vacation, you’re still feeling that end-of-school-year exhaustion. Add stress into the mix, and it can leave you feeling burned out, frazzled, and bereft of what little patience you had left. Kids feel it too, and they can become crankier than usual, cooperate less, or even fight more with their siblings.
Here are a few tips to help you survive these last days without losing your sanity … or driving your kids nuts:
1. View the end of the school year as the finish line that needs to be crossed.
Any runner will tell you that they feel like giving up at some point, even when they know they are close to finishing their race. Break through that feeling and just keep going.
2. Now more than ever, rely on the tried and true.
When you’re tired, you’re more likely to forget things. Stick to what works. Don’t test out a new route to school; if there is more traffic than expected, the stress might be too much for your frazzled nerves.
3. Include a surprise in your child’s school lunch.
Think of treats, notes, even stickers. Give your kids something to smile about so it brightens up their day and recharges them. I usually don’t include candy in my son’s lunch, but this week I plan on surprising him with gummy bears, natural fruit snacks, and snack size M&M’s.
4. Plan any end of year gifts as soon as possible.
Perhaps you want to make gifts for your child’s teachers, write cards, or buy a gift card for educators that have gone above and beyond for your kids. Don’t wait until the last minute, especially if you need to allocate budget for it.
5. Start getting into summer mode by adding more fun into the everyday.
The last days of school often have early release days. Make the most out of them by going to have frozen yogurt, make popsicles together, or even go to the park for half an hour.