summer school holidays

3 Steps To Your Best Summer Yet!

Long summer breaks can be a bag of mixed emotions. On the one hand there’s sweet freedom from early morning starts, rushing and routines. Eating breakfast in your PJs, lunch and dinner whenever anyone’s hungry. No homework hassles or chauffeuring to after-school clubs and activities.

On the flip-side, you’re on full-time mama duty. Your normal daily schedule’s thrown totally out of whack and you’re missing that vital me time. You get tired of your own nagging voice and by the time school starts again you’re practically burning rubber at the school gates.

A few years ago I decided not to let the summer holidays feel like a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. I broke out my notebook and created a strategy for my Best Summer Yet.

And it worked! Getting clear about what I actually wanted was the key to guiding it in the right direction. The following summer I created printed worksheets and charts based around what I knew was needed.  It became an annual ritual and my summers keep getting better and better. In 2015 I released the SUMMER STRATEGY KIT for parents and kids and it’s been a huge hit with families all over the world. 

Here are 3 Steps to Creating Your Best Summer Yet:

1. Get clear about what you want.

Use the My Dream Summer worksheet and write down your ideal outcome. Get a really clear vision in your mind of the ideal summer you’d like to create.

Next, include your ideal scenario for having some me time to keep you sane. Use the Me Time planner for this! Don’t think about how you’ll make that happen, just get a picture of what kinds of things would feel really good.

Most importantly, ask yourself: How do I want to feel this summer? Relaxed, easy going, connected, adventurous, lighthearted, loving… Write down any words that describe how you’d love to feel.

2. Share with your family.

You’re all in this together. Share your vision for summer and ask what they want out of it. What kinds of things would they enjoy doing? How do they want to feel? You can only support each others expectations when you know what they are. They might want the same things as you, or it could be different. There’ll be more family harmony if there’s clarity from the beginning, with room for compromises and going with the flow of course.

Use the My Summer Goals planner to make it a reality.

3. Make a game plan.

This is the final, vital step. All of those great ideas will remain ideas without an Action Plan. What can you do to make the vision come true?

If you want more help around the house – set up a chores schedule and make it happen. Summer is a good time to create a fresh rewards chart. Hang up some clear, written rules so everyone knows what’s expected. It’ll save you from shouting at your kids. Just calmly refer to the rules – and follow through on the consequences. This doesn’t mean punishment – they simply don’t earn whatever you’ve agreed upon. Ice creams, technology and late bedtimes are earned in our house. You’ll have a lot more sibling harmony if you spend some one on one time with each child too. That can mean cuddled up reading a book, playing a game, having them as your helper as you fold laundry, cook or water the garden together.  Make it feel special for them to get you to themselves no matter what you’re doing.

If you work, set up some clear working hours so you can be super productive during that time, and switch off completely when that time’s up.?Use a fresh My Action List to formulate your plan and take small steps to make it happen.

Want to know my secret weapon for keeping the kids happily occupied so I can have a bit of time to myself each day? Click here for my Boredom Buster! (No, it doesn’t involve handing them an iPad or parking them in front of the TV.) 

If you have a child / children off school over the summer months and want to do more than just SURVIVE the school holidays, don’t miss out! I’ve used these strategies for many years and have taught them to hundreds of others – THEY WORK. 

For additional Power Posse support through the whole summer, and access to my online Summer strategy workshop  – check out Project WE* – my private online membership club.


* You can easily cancel your membership at any time. There are no obligations, making it easy for you to give it a try!

In the comments below, share some key words that describe how you want to feel during the summer. holidays. What would make this your best summer yet? 

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  1. Seana Turner on June 16, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    I think making a plan is really key. We seem to enjoy talking about doing lots of things, but unless we buy tickets or put it in the calendar, it never happens. Then we end up feeling let down and regretful. Similar to what you’ve said, I often say “What gets scheduled gets done!” Wishing you a happy summer:)

  2. Kelly Pietrangeli on June 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Yes Seana, for me it’s about finding that happy balance between planning and just allowing things to happen. I agree with you about scheduling what you really want to get done! Wishing you a happy summer too 🙂

  3. Stacey on June 16, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    You absolutely have a plan. I often make it about a week into summer vacation before I decide we need a plan because I’m so excited to be planless! LOL That’s not even a word! But even though my summer plans are usually quite laid back, I still end up with a plan and chore charts. (And great minds think alike! My post today is on this very subject!!)

  4. Kelly Pietrangeli on June 16, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    I think ‘planless’ ought to be a word! 😉 And chore charts RULE!! Thanks for your great comment Stacey. As a mom of seven you are the guru! Coming to check out your blog post too. x

  5. MellieC on June 16, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    Oh, posts like this make me so sad… I am a full-time working mum and the summer is when I feel most guilty. I dream of being a stay-at-home mum but I am the breadwinner for my family, through necessity not choice. My inbox, Facebook timeline, Twitter feed etc. are all full of summer holidays and it makes me so sad that for us it’s business as usual (quite literally!). No summer holidays as my poor boy is in “summer club” for the next 9 weeks. Any tips to help us bring a little bit of everyone’s summer holidays into our routine?!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

      I’m sorry Mellie. I can imagine how all of the summer ‘fun in the sun’ posts must bring about pangs of sadness.

      No need to feel guilty. You’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got and I’m sure you know that – and your son too. I’m sure he’ll have more fun at summer camp than a lot of kids will have at home watching TV or playing on computers.

      I love your question: Tips for how to bring a little bit of summer holidays into your routine. I think you’re onto your own solution!

      Why don’t you and your son have a good brainstorming on paper session about this? I’m sure the two of you will hit on some fun ideas once you put your heads together and then put it into action! I hope you’ll write again to share your ideas with us. (I’m sure there’ll be ice creams involved…)

  6. Mariah on June 16, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    O.K…I’m ALREADY off with step one!

    I feel so frazzled with constant children’s activities and trying to fit business activities in where ever I can. It’s not so far off from the rest of the year because my 4 children are so young (7, 5, 4, and 1 1/2) and still home with me most of the time!

    ME time? What’s that? LOL!

    I’m going to go right now and schedule this all out—to create my best summer yet!

    Thanks for the tips, Kelly 🙂

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 17, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      Good for you Mariah! Taking the bull by the horns and getting a plan on paper will help curb that frazzled feeling and give your summer days some structure between work and play. And you WILL find some kind of ME TIME amongst it all. (Even if a glass of chilled Rose at the end of a long day.) Report back in September 😉

  7. Clare Greig on June 17, 2014 at 6:45 AM

    Such great tips Kelly. It’s funny there have been so many summer hols when I have been in tears because I am working hard and I am supposed to be on hols. I will be doing all of your action points for the next one. 🙂

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      Great Clare! Having a clear idea of how you want to FEEL and then creating a work / fun schedule around that will help you create a tear-free summer holiday 🙂

  8. Nicholette von Reiche on June 17, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    This is so timely Kelly, I don’t have kids in school, but my schedule has managed to get all crazy and it feels like everything else comes before our own personal + biz to do’s and that the only solution is late nights and 05:00 am mornings to get it all in.

    Loving this re-frame and am definitely going to put it to work.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on June 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      Glad this has served as a healthy reminder to find your focus – and stop pulling those late shifts and early starts! Have a smoooooth summer Nicholette!

  9. […] occupying themselves, use the time to get your own things done and to have a little me time. (Read How to Create Your Best Summer Yet to make this happen!) You’ll have more energy and patience when you get small breaks from […]

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