From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Summer: It's Not Too Late
The Race is On! Summer is in its final phase. We've all got to hurry up and relax! This
year, I've heard a record number of comments from people about how quickly their summer
has come and gone.
I am continually amazed by the effects of the changing seasons. The months of May
through August are months of rapid change in the lives of families. This summer, I have
witnessed the following phenomena.
- Children go to camp and come back as different children. Going to sleep-away camp is a
bit like going off to college. Send kids away and they learn about the world. Camp is a
highly structured experience which challenges kids socially, physically, and
intellectually. When children have the opportunity to be independent and fully responsible
for themselves in a nurturing and interesting environment, it brings out the best in them.
All this growth, however, makes it difficult for kids to fit right back into place when
they return home. If at first, you don't recognize your children... be patient! Try to
respect their new identity, give them space, welcome them and get to know them as you
would any stranger! One of the true benefits of this experience is developing independence
and self-reliance. If parents are too nurturing afterwards, this "growth" may be
lost. Soon enough, your children will return to their former dependent habits.
- When the kids are away, the parents can play. If you time it right, summer is also the
opportunity to dabble in empty nest activities. When kids go away for summer activities,
such as camp, visiting relatives, or visiting their non-custodial parents, couples have a
great opportunity to take a vacation from parenting. This can be a time to renew that
special relationship between husband and wife. Do something you wouldn't do if the kids
- Beware of the Myth of Summer. Summertime is supposed to be relaxing, enjoyable and fun.
Right? But in actuality, summertime can be highly stressful. With varying vacation
schedules at work, it is often more difficult to make progress. When one employee is out
of the office, the workloads of others are increased. Just when you'd like to be outside
having fun, you have to work harder than ever. Cabin fever is at an all time high and
vacations when they do come about, are never long enough. All of these factors can lead to
greater frustration in the workplace and more difficult temperments among co-workers.
- Insist on Time for Yourself! Summer can be a great time to redefine yourself. Summer can
provide the time-window to engage in your favorite recreations. Time to grow, time to
relax, time to think. When we shift gears and allow ourselves to rest, we reduce our
stress and recharge. When we do something different, we learn how to stretch beyond our
former limits and feel the thrill of new accomplishments.
Summer is a great time to get (back) in shape physically, enhance your home, catch up
with yourself, but beware of the time-snatchers that get in the way. Be sure to take time
for yourself. You certainly deserve it!
ęCopyright, 1991, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,