Spring break is just around the corner and no matter where you are in Canada, you are anxiously awaiting the end of our horrible winter. That’s when we find ourselves dealing with Spring Fever. But, it’s not just us, it’s our kids as well. So how are you going to make this a glorious Spring and what does Spring Fever look like in kids?
The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. Spring is a wonderful time of the year. On a beautiful day, I find myself sitting at my desk trying to focus on my work but I keep staring out the window and thinking that I’d sure like to be outside enjoying this beautiful weather.
Somehow, it’s harder to concentrate on work on a gorgeous spring day than any other season. It’s because we see it as the start of a wonderful number of months and can hardly wait to put away our heavy coats and woolen clothing. We have spring fever.
If you speak to your friends or colleagues you will likely all agree that paying strict attention to your work is a challenge when spring arrives. Most of us can admit that we have sneaked away for a baseball game, a round of golf or at least a long lunch on a nearby patio.
So, why are we surprised when our children share the same experience? They are restless, unfocussed and daydreaming and we think they are misbehaving. But they aren’t. Just like us they are responding to the warm weather and longer days.
When I was a child I recall that my big challenge was going to bed when it was still light outside. So, my mother would recite the poem, Bed In Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson about a child who hates to go to bed when it is still light outside. The poem let me know that she understood my feelings. Mind you, I still had to go to bed.
For children who really have a problem with the light, consider darker curtains. Older kids may be willing to wear an eyeshade.
The point is that your child is not trying to drive you crazy by wanting to stay up late, she is simply reacting to the later sunsets.
Spring and daydreaming go together. Even kids who are usually very down-to-earth and focused start daydreaming in the spring. Spring is another kind of New Year. In nature, spring sees new growth as the flowers, cherry blossoms and grass sprout for yet another year.
For us, spring feels like the start of new ideas, it brings new energy and the idea of new possibilities. When our kids feel this way, it looks like daydreaming.
Daydreaming is not all bad. A wise parent knows that creativity of thought can evolve. Remember lying on the grass looking at the clouds and discussing the shapes? Instead of discouraging your children, join them. We do a lot of talking about how children watch too much TV and don’t engage in creative play. Well, use this daydreaming time of year to teach your children how to let their minds roam and wander. It won’t hurt we adults either.
Besides looking at the clouds, get the kids outside to play. There are baby ducks to see at the local pond, bird’s nests up in the trees and all manner of buds coming up from the now thawed ground. Even kids who seem to be permanently attached to technology have a desire to get outside. Take advantage of this and go for a walk, head to the park or find an appropriate hiking or biking trail. It could become a habit.
Of course, life must go on and children, like adults, can’t use the onset of spring as a chance to avoid homework, piano practice and chores. But, when you acknowledge your child’s spring fever, when you make room for her need to daydream, to be outside, to play, then your child will be much more willing and able to take on the regular tasks.
Bring Kathy to your Community
I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Connecting The Dots conference for parents in Victoria. What a wonderful group! And, I’d love to hear from you from your community.
As always, my presentations will share a basic value that I call
P — is a parenting plan
U — is unconditional love
R — is respect for your child as he is right now
E — is encouragement
Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.
There are times when digital is the perfect answer and let’s face, on a holiday having access to hundreds of books on one small tablet is ideal. I will have my kindle with me on the trip.
There are lots of times when a busy parent would like to be able to simply read and my books are digital and make it easier for you to take a look.
Two of my parenting books started as print versions but the third is only digital. The first two are also now in digital format. Who’s in Charge Anyway? talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults.
But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home talks about raising children to become capable young men and women.
I am told the books are down to earth and common sense as well as easy to read. If you want some basic parenting tips and information these books are a good place to start.