I remember summer vacation being so exciting, it was filled with family fun, the smell of tanning lotion and lazy days that seemed to last forever. But that’s a child’s perspective, as a parent it looks a whole lot different. In fact, one of my favorite commercials is the Staples back to school commercial where the parents are happily buying school supplies for their kids, while singing the song “It’s the most wonderful time of year”. It still cracks me up today, so I’ve included the link below if you want to see it.
If you’re like most parents raising a child with a mood disorder, the whole warm and fuzzy feeling about summer vacation is long gone. Instead I’m feeling a little nervous as my boys count down their final days of school. Last year, at the beginning of summer, my son struggled with all the transitions. He became extremely impulsive and went into a violent rage, losing his best friend who witnessed the whole thing. From there, our summer was a battlefield with land mines exploding everywhere.
Now that he’s on a mood stabilizer, I feel much more confident, but I’m still concerned about him being bored. Boredom has always been a trigger for him, in the past he would bite someone just to start a fight for “entertainment”. So last year, I created a very heavy schedule to keep him busy. We were at the library, the parks and hours at the pool. I created structured craft times and lead adventure nature walks. Then, to mix it up, we went on field trips to the local grocery store, pizza place, fire department and police station. We also enrolled him in a one week science day camp and his Grandma created an awesome “Cousin’s Camp” filled with fun activities. But this year, my son doesn’t want to go to any science camps, leaving all those hours in my lap. And to be honest, I’m feel so tired these days, the thought of all that running around, trying to stay two steps ahead is just draining to me and summer hasn’t even started yet. I already know that the therapist will be instructing me to “keep him busy” and “wear him out”, much easier said then done. I think I’m just feeling run down from this past year and all we’ve been through, I think I’m the one that needs a summer vacation, can you relate?
So can you share any ideas on what you’ll be doing this summer to keep the peace?
Check it out! The most wonderful time of year commercial: