Transitions can be difficult to handle. Doesn’t matter if you’re finally landing that dream job, moving to a new house, having a baby, or even going on vacation. Anything that takes you out of your normal routine can add some stress to your day. One of those transitions is the end of school. Does this time of year add more stress for you or create more relaxation?
Your answer might depend on how long your patterns have been going, what kind of flexibility you have, plans for your children, how much or whether you work in the summer, and simply how you view change and transition. Granted, it can be challenging even with a good attitude. But if you or your child need a lot of time to absorb change, this transition can be bumpy.
Yesterday, I focused my post on the amount of activities planned versus open free time. This time, I’m asking you to think about your temperament. Also take moment to think about each of your children, and your spouse or partner if you have one. Temperament is a predictable and stable pattern of how you navigate through life. You are generally more or less flexible, more or less open to new things, more or less active, etc. None of these are right or wrong, they just “are.” Temperament traits are often grouped as easy, difficult, and slow-to-warm-up.
For example, one of my daughters is particularly persistent and active. She always needs something to focus on, to grind on, to keep her appetite for challenge satisfied. Her younger sister has a similar persistent streak, and both can have some difficulty with transitions. They need time and preparation to “unhook” themselves from their previous patterns before they engage in a new one. My middle one is the most flexible and emotionally sensitive. She is very sentimentally attached to favorite people or objects, but can change gears a lot more easily than either of her sisters. I tend to be a lot more flexible in general, which can get me into conflicts with the oldest and youngest (least flexible). See what I mean?
When given good notice and a chance to adjust, someone who thrives on routine can get ready for a different routine in the summer. It may be helpful to keep some things the same for familiarity. For your flexible kids, this transition is easy-peasy. Just throw on a swimsuit and go. The rest depends on your temperament. Do you need a lot of preparation to get things lined up so you feel ready for summer, or can you change gears quickly and with little stress?
Don’t forget, neither one is wrong or right. Persistence and useful routines help make the world go around. Flexibility and openness to change allows for creativity and freshness. It really just matters that you know yourself, your kids, and what gets you through your day comfortably. When you plan for everyone’s unique traits, everyone has the chance to have a great summertime.