Summer Time Challenges

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, May 26, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I have noticed that for some of us Summer is a relief and for others it is an increased stress. So, if anyone is interested, I would like to start two threads. This one will be for those who find Summer more stressful than the school year for any number of difficult child reasons.

    You can write your frustrations here. Maybe someone who has dealt with them in the past will have some suggestions. Maybe you just need to vent.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Initially I tend to let everything go with regard to schedules. No strict bed time. Video games on demand, more or less. It's somewhat of a relief to not have to control everything. But then we realize that endless nights of very late bedtimes and sleeping until noon or later every day results in not much getting done around here that needs doing, so we go back to enforcing a schedule, albeit looser than the regular school year.

    The past three summers have been hard with difficult child 2 because he has not been stable. This year, though, I am very, very hopeful that this is IT. He's been doing pretty well in school overall so I am encouraged that this summer may be a good one for all of us.
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I think what is hard is easy child and I , and husband to some extent want to go and play and have fun, but for difficult child it gets to be too much. I have to plan down time for him, which usually means down time for us too.
  4. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie

    I dread the summertime and my son is 22yr. I think its the amount of
    daylight and expectations to do so much that bother me as he has no one to do things with. We sont have school holidays for him now only for my youngest easy child but even though difficult child is in a routine things seem harder and I would like time out too which doesnt happen but thats life!

    I am one of the few that love when the days draw in and winter is on the way...its just easier to cope with a cosy life than an outdoor sunny one!

    I do also think that fine weather and heat do not help difficult behaviours either as I have had a few bad experiences in the summertime.

    Thank for letting me vent too!
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I would like to post on both threads because like gcvmom it starts out feeling like less stress and in the end flips. I like the not having to worry about homework (though math tutoring starts soon). I can be a little less strict on bedtimes but he still needs to wake up for daycare.

    Manster's behaviors tend to escalate without structure so by the end of the summer I'll be relieved to have school start again. In the meantime I'll try to enjoy the good parts.

    Thanks for starting this thread.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Summer is a torment for me....

    I LOVE the summer heat and sunshine and lazy days out by the pool.

    difficult child HATES the a day just relaxing outdoors is a reason for her to start trouble. Just nit-picky, annoying, mean, trouble....

    So my summer has to be spent as the "warden"--constantly on guard and constantly forced to find some kind of organized and air-conditioned activity for her.


  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    For me so far... because this is the first summer K is in real School, 1st grade.
    So far it is horrible!
    K thrives on a schedule she thrives on consistency. School is schedule but cut up into little bits each day, there is movement and different teachers. So it is exciting and fun!

    Summer at home is up early and fast and furious... she is on the go from the minute she wakes up. Right now I just had to have the talk with her, "give me a few minutes so I can drink 1!!! cup of coffee!"
    It is 9:30 and I haven't done that yet.

    Right now we are lucky she is sleeping because it is her cycling.

    She is a time bomb all day. We work on her having her own time each day, we have been working on this for years... some days it works, others.

    As far as camps or setting things up for the summer. It is very hard for her.

    Anything longer than a few hours sets her up for over load. Also the next day she doesn't function. The fact of it not being a long term thing over time like school just doesn't work.

    Also if the place doesn't understand Mental Illness we end up with a kid who is worse each night.

    Every place claims they get it. But K holds it in and just hides...she is the one who will be sitting there in a coat when it is 90 degrees, afraid to ask for help.
    "She seemed fine"
    Because she doesn't complain and keeps smiling through it all until she gets home.

    But we are actually going to try a camp this summer through the School, it is go as you please.

    So we are going 2 days a week. 4 hours a day. In the morning. Academics and fun. She thrives on the academics.
    We can skip if we want. N is going as well which is good. They push the water and shade... so lets cross our fingers! :)

    We also just got her into an Occupational Therapist (OT) who specializes in yoga based sensory therapy as well as treatment for speech and she is versed in Mental Illness!
    She is going to be able to work with N also!!!

    It has only been 6 days of Summer and I am exhausted! But I am hopeful that both girls can receive some help.

    We are swimming for 2 hours every day!
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I think we'll do okay this summer... but keeping Duckie busy can be a challenge. She's the sort of kid that wants to do something, go somewhere or have someone over every day. That makes it hard for me to keep up on things here. I think I will set aside one day a week for my work-at-home day.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I posted on the other thread too but there are some challenges. When difficult child isn't at a day camp he wants us to do something with him 24/7. Also by the end of the summer he needs the structure of school badly! In addition we do a bit more visiting in the summer and difficult child doesn't do well in the car. We always include a visit to my dad's and his wife, difficult child really doesn't like Dad's wife so that is always stressful, so is the visit to my mom's because he gets very bored.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My easy child daughter is fine in the summer. She has a lot of fun. My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son would stay in his room 24/7, only going out for his daily bike rides (he likes to do that, but that isn't interacting with people). So he has no choice except to go to all day summer school, which they have here. He needs to have something to do or he doesn't socialize at all.
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    gvcmom's summer schedule sounds a lot like mine. At first it's a free for all! No structure, no schedules, no set bedtime, etc.

    But, once we get past July 4th, there is usually a new responsibility list and a little more stucture - although much, much looser than the school year.

    I'm one of those who loves when school is out.

    This summer will be a tad more challenging as my easy child will be moving out into an apartment!

  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I tend to dread summer. The tweedles need the constant structure that only school, day treatment or Residential Treatment Center (RTC) can provide.

    The tweedles, wm especially, feel that summertime is Disney Land time ~ nonstop paid amusement. Never happens so he's a very unhappy camper & I get endless calls to come out immediately to visit & take him somewhere "fun".

    Saying that, I do my best once extended school year is over to give ktbug structure each day. AND I allowed her to be bored so she can learn the art of boredom. How to self amuse safely.

  13. Stella

    Stella New Member

    I actually logged on today to start a thread about this very subject just to see that it was already there. I should have known people here would understand and would be going through the same thing.

    My difficult child has been "slipping" over the last two weeks. She raged last weekend which she hasn't done in a couple of months and her tic of throat clearing and roaring has really become a lot worse.

    I haven't been on here in a while but just to clarify that difficult child's psychiatrist and I both agree that the only diagnosis that fits is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). He is going to refer her to another psychiatric who specialises in attachment for a second opinion. I know I have been told here on many occassion not to accpet a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) easily and I haven't but honestly thats what i believe it is. Family therapy has been a little helpful a times but we have long, hard road ahead of us.

    Anyway, at our family therapy meeting yesterday we all (i.e. me and her two sets of grandparents) expressed how we are "terrifield" of this upcoming summer as last summer difficult child ended up in hospital when I went away for a few days. It was the worst time of our lives.

    Does anyone have any tips on how to get through the summer and why is it that some of our kids find summer so difficult? I know my daughter needs a lot of structure and routine but she is still in school until the end of June but has already started to "slip"....

    I really don't know if i can handle what we went through last summer again...
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Thanks for starting this thread. I'm one of those who dreads having difficult children home all summer long. Mine have always required lots of structure or they fall apart quickly. Even though financially we've been strapped, sending difficult child 1 to an out of state camp for kids with problems similar to his, was a blessing. We did it for three years in a row,and he stayed three weeks the first summer, six weeks the second one, and seven the third (The third summer, he was a leader in training and had to work. He got a minimal salary. We had to pay for him to go and pick him up between camp sessions. He spent two weekends at home.) The financial sacrifices we had to make to send him were minor compared to the HE77 we would have experienced if he had been at home all summer.

    difficult child 2 goes to Y camp every summer for as many weeks as we can afford. He is 17 but has to be watched just like a toddler. He does horribly without a schedule and throws frequent "tantrums" when things don't happen at the exact time he wants them to. With him at home during the day, I feel like a prisoner trapped in jail.

    husband and I didn't give up on taking vacations. Fortunately, for the past three summers, we took them while difficult child 1 was away. This made things lots easier to handle. However, when we got home from our vacations, we paid the price dearly. We soon learned to schedule vacations close to the beginning of school. One year, we got home on a Saturday evening and difficult child 2 started school that Monday.

    My best advice for those of you who have difficult children that are inflexible and fall apart easily without schedules, is to make a daily schedule during the summer months. I know it rots, but it really does keep the number of "tantrums" down. Also, having a chart showing good behavior and rewarding it in some small way helps difficult child 2 keep glued together. I know lots of you are against living with behavior charts but in our house we couldn't survive without them.

    I try to make the most of my time when difficult child 2 is in camp. I go to the beach as much as possible. For a short while, while I'm there, I "forget" I even have difficult child 2. There is something about the ocean that relaxes and calms me in a way that almost nothing else can... WFEN
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Usually summer is a challenge for me once the kids reach that "too old for day care yet too young to stay home alone" stage. Last year I had a great 15 yr old boy come in and watch difficult child in the mornings. It was a great summer for difficult child. This year that wonderful now 16 yr old boy I am sure has a "real" job. He received his CNA certification last summer and is such a smart responsible kid that getting a job will be no trouble.

    I waited a few days to post on here (and/or the joy thread) because I think we will be o.k. for the summer but there is always the uncertain where difficult child's are involved. So, I will post the joys on the other thread and the challenges as follows:

    Lunches - Last year difficult child was able to grill out and have lunch ready for me when I arrived home. He had the 15 yr old watching over him. This year, with the new electric grill, he has had fires every time he grills. So, I told him no grilling unless Diva was upstairs either in the kitchen or outside watching especially when bowling buddy is over. Now, if he will respect this request, we will be fine - the challenge is, will he listen? I did tell him that bowling buddy would not be able to handle a grill fire - that it would really upset him. I am pretty sure that in itself will keep him from grilling without an adult around when bowling buddy is here.

    Diva's summer plans - If she does find a full time job, what do I do with difficult child? She is looking for evening and weekend jobs to supplement her $2 per hour watching bowling buddy and another $2 per hour watching difficult child. For the most part, she has proven to be committed to her promises so I think she will wait until winter to find a day job.

    difficult child went to his dad's office Thursday morning. He said he felt weird all morning so I didn't push extra time at work. I met them for lunch and then took difficult child on errands.

    On Friday, difficult child stayed home with Diva. He did call to ask if he could grill lunch. I told him to pull the grill out into the driveway and if a fire started he was to unplug the grill (an extension cord leads down the sidewalk to the front door so he does not need to be near the fire to unplug it). This is a brand new grill. I think he needs to learn the temp settings - has it on too high and when food drops down it can burn. He needs to know to use foil for hamburgers. I called home later to check on the progress of lunch to hear that he had two (2) grill fires. His dad told him he could grill bacon (???? no, he can not grill bacon - hello - he is only 12 years old - let him learn about the grease from hamburgers first please!). I think one was that he turned the temp up too high. However, he dealt with both and put them both out. And for anyone who may be thinking it, No, he is NOT playing with fire - these are legite fires from grilling foods that are dropping down into the elements. I am not worried as long as Diva or husband or myself or another adult is nearby.

    difficult child also had one of his "feels weird for a few seconds then throw up" moments this morning. I am waiting to see how the next week goes before contacting psychiatrist again about pushing up the 48 hr EEG. If this is happening on weekends and days I don't go to work, then I want to have that EEG done sooner.