Summer is a time for relaxation, exploration, and creating lasting memories. However, in today’s fast-paced world, many parents feel the pressure to fill their children’s summer schedules with endless activities and organized events. But what if we took a step back and embraced the concept of slow parenting in the summer?

Slow parenting, as advocated by Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slow, encourages parents to prioritize free time, unstructured play, and relaxation for their children. It is a response to the over-scheduled, high-pressure world that many children grow up in today. By practicing slow parenting, we can create a summer filled with simplicity, joy, and meaningful experiences.

Remember when you were a child and summer meant endless days of bike rides, impromptu shows with neighborhood friends, and making potions in the garden? These are the simple memories that stay with us and shape our childhoods. Slow parenting allows children the space and freedom to explore their own interests, engage in imaginative play, and enjoy the beauty of the summer season.

In today’s society, it can be tempting to believe that more is better. We feel the need to stimulate, organize, and pressure our children to ensure they have a fulfilling summer. However, studies have shown that children are already overwhelmed with school, extracurricular activities, and homework during term time. Summer should be a time for relaxation and recharging.

Consider the following activities:

  1. A walk round Lauriston Castle Gardens
  2. An ice cream at Luca’s in Morningside – with a walk down the canal
  3. Climbing Calton Hill and taking in the view
  4. A drive over to see the Kelpies and play in Helix Park

Simple activities, with little cost, enabling time to truly recharge and to enjoy not having to keep to a set time limit or schedule. Equally, there’s no need to actually go anyway – find the joy in reading or just playing Lego. I can remember actually being properly bored in the summer and having to create my own adventures as a result. I cannot imagine I would’ve climbed trees or made mud pies if I hadn’t been left to my own devices.

So this summer, why not embrace slow parenting and create a summer filled with simplicity and joy? Give your children the gift of unstructured play, free time, and the opportunity to recharge. Let them explore their own interests, engage in imaginative play, and enjoy the simple pleasures of the season. By prioritizing slow parenting, we can create lasting memories and allow our children the space to grow and thrive.

And remember, slow parenting is not just beneficial for children, but for parents as well. It can help manage feelings of guilt, the pressure to enjoy every moment, and the constant distractions of work and smartphones. By being mindful and present in the moment with our children, we can truly listen and enjoy the time we spend together.

So resist the urge to fill every day with activities and embrace boredom. Encourage your children to find their own solutions and let them be in charge of their entertainment. Take a walk in nature, engage in slow activities like gardening and baking, and model being slow yourself. Embrace the simplicity of a slow summer and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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