For many parents, work obligations do not stop when the kids are out of school. Additionally, changes in routine can be stressful and disruptive for parents. To minimize stress and get the most out of spring break, consider the following:
It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others when it comes to “trip envy.” Perhaps you see your non-working friends talking about fun and creative activities their family is doing over spring break. Try to catch yourself when you begin comparing situations and wishing things were different for you. Remember that spring break represents only a snapshot of time within your life and your child’s life. Instead of feeling disappointed that you’re not taking a family trip, take the time to practice gratitude.
Address your child’s comparison with their friends
Your child has been hearing friends talk about amazing vacations their families have planned, and they might have even seen pictures on social media. In a child’s mind, whatever is happening right now represents their entire world. They have forgotten about the amazing trip they took over winter break, and summer vacation seems too far away. Teaching kids to cope with disappointment, delayed gratification, and to be appreciative are all part of your job as a parent. So, turn these comparisons into teachable moments. Helping kids cope with disappointment now will help them make wise decisions in the future. We all know that not every moment can be fun, and sometimes difficult decisions have to be made about how we spend our time.
Plan for flexibly and fun
Allow your children to come up with special spring break activities. Discuss with them the purpose and value of each activity. For example, is the activity educational, relaxing, productive, or fun? Does the activity allow for connecting and forming memories with friends or family?
Choose to take a break from something
We all need breaks, and unfortunately adults are not afforded the same scheduled breaks as children. Choose to take a break from something this spring break. Perhaps you can take a break from cooking one night and will eat out. Maybe you can take a break from negativity and allow yourself to savor the moment. Or, you could choose to try something new in your routine. Even taking a break from things that you enjoy can be beneficial. For example, if you watch television from 7 to 9 p.m. each night, try taking a break to play a board game with you kids. You may end up enjoying or feeling rejuvenated by this break!
To learn more about Dr. Becker’s psychology practice, please visit www.psybecker.com
Dr. Becker is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Waco, TX. She provides counseling to adults and adolescents dealing with depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, and life stress. Dr. Becker is passionate about helping others, and she believes that counseling is beneficial for anyone who desires to have a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. You can reach her by visiting her website, blog or Facebook page.