There are two common reactions to summer. Some moms relish the freedom and flexibility of not having to wake the kids up early for school and enforce an early bedtime routine. Then there are the moms who desperately miss the routine of school days because her household descends into chaos without a schedule.

Both parenting mindsets are valid and normal. One is not “better” than the other.

If you love lazy mornings full of snuggles, screen time, and pancake breakfasts at 10 am, we see you and we applaud you. If you crave the days when you drop your kids off at camp where someone else can entertain them for a bit so that you can cross a few items off of your to-do list, we see you and we applaud you.

Just like the pendulum extremes of “Sargent Sally” and “Pushover Paula” from our SHE LAUGHS PART 1 series, we think that the healthiest parenting style is “Coach Kelly,” who falls somewhere between these two.

At Fearless Mom, we aim to equip you with tools to not only endure parenting but to enjoy it! The same goes for the summer season. So, we want to help you find that happy middle ground and enjoy a “Coach Kelly” summer:

Sargent Sally demonstrates the AUTHORITARIAN parenting style that focuses mainly on the rules, while Pushover Paula represents the PERMISSIVE parenting style that focuses mainly on the relationship. Coach Kelly parents with an AUTHORITATIVE parenting style. This parenting style includes both rules AND relationship. The parent sets and guards boundaries and rules, and they work to establish a relationship built on love and trust. Coach Kelly embraces her role as parenting authority, and she understands that rules strengthen the parent-child relationship when built on a foundation of love and trust.

Coach Kelly takes advantage of summer to build a relationship with her child through intentional, unstructured hang-out time together with fewer distractions:
• playing board games, watching movies, and any other simple, low-key activity at home
• morning or evening bike rides or walks
• choosing a special or new meal or recipe to shop for, prepare, and eat together
• reading a chapter book aloud together

Coach Kelly understands that, even with summer’s looser schedule, kids (and parents!) do better with routine, especially when it comes to bedtime, eating well, movement, and alone time. She’s flexible in the summer, but she knows the whole family does better when everyone is well-rested and well-fed and has a good balance of activity and downtime. So, while she throws in special stay-up-late nights, ice-cream-for-dinner meals, movie marathons, and friend-filled play days, she intentionally balances these special events with the family’s familiar routine and rituals.

Happy Summer! And, mom – YOU’VE GOT THIS!

We are kicking off a summer blog series where we will learn from different moms in our community who have unique approaches to summer, so stay tuned!