We're in the final stretch of the school year and by now, many working parents are exhausted. We've been to recitals, class parties, banquets, awards nights and we're squeezing it all in with our work schedules. In our heads, we hear the Gloria Gaynor song "I will survive" and we want to scream it LOUD. We want to celebrate the end of homework, the end of stressful school day routines and the end of school stress, at least for a few months, but we're just SO tired. If you're almost at the finish line, here is my guide for making it all the way through the end of the school year with your sanity.
1.Don't beat yourself up. If you made it to your kid's end of year class party, great. If not, he or she will forgive you because of all the other ways you show love.
2. Have your child bring a small notebook to school. He can use it collect phone numbers. Over the summer, if you kid is bored, he is ready reach out.
3. Express appreciation. If there is a key person at the school who makes your life easier, send in a gift card. It will make all the difference for you in the future.
4. Find out about summer reading. Most kids wait until a few days before school starts to do their summer reading assignments. Nudge your child to find out about the assignments before school ends. That way, you can at least plan ahead and avoid panic.
5. Throw stuff out. Have your kid clean out his or her backpack and organize your child's best tests, papers and projects into one folder. Make those tough decisions. You really don't need to save EVERYTHING. Do it now before you decide to keep it all to avoid having to go through it.
6. Talk to other parents. If you're stuck for hours at a banquet or awards night, use your time wisely. Talk to other parents about what their children are doing this summer and look for opportunities to carpool, share child care or land your teen a summer job. No harm in using the parents' network!
7. Refuse to panic. If you haven't made your child's summer plans, stay calm. There are plenty of camps that have openings, babysitters that need jobs, stores that are hiring teens and schools that are offering summer programs. If possible, have your child help with the research.
It's going to be a great summer. We all just need a little prep to make it even better!