It seems particularly in the spring, when the winter blues and blahs are drifting away with the last of the Midwest and east coast snow fall, and many places, except California currently, are turning green, our social calendar and list of to-do grows at heart wrenching speed. Graduations, college visits, term papers, dance and music recitals, visiting grandparents and all of the many events in April, May and June can be overwhelming.
Manifestations of overload can affect every member of the family, including the dog. Not so much the cat though, I have noticed. Kidding aside, once the nerves are on the sleeve of just one person in the household, everyone else is drawn into the drama. Recitals can bring out some interesting behavior!
Since we are the parent in the midst of the chaos, here are some tried and true tips for calming the storm.
1) This really isn’t about you! Unless, of course, you are the one creating it. Step back from the upset and realize in a few hours, days or weeks, this will be over. There might be something new, but this will be over. How sanely you handle the shrieking teenager that cannot find her favorite leotard, will either help or hinder the search.
2) Remind your crew one of the crucial keys to success during stressful times is a strong attempt to be organized. Rework the dance bag, re label the shoes, double check your costume lists and do this all before the moment you should have walked out the door ten minutes ago.
3) Eat well and often. Hunger has a way of making everything worse. If your team waits until they are famished, not only will they be more irritating than usual, dining will not be a satisfactory end if the food is bolted down. And above all, don’t make the run to the local fast food place an excuse for not carrying a tote filled with carrot sticks, unprocessed cheese slices, washed apples and frozen grapes. Urge your dancer to graze!
4) Sleep is a blessing for everyone, including the pets. It is as vital as water and air. Teenagers need as much sleep as the dog, or more. We used to kid our kids about not ever seeing a sunrise. It was a rite of passage to sleep until after lunch. Studies have shown growing teens need at least 9.5 hours of sleep per night. Somehow our society has made it an honor to boast that we only need 5 hours or 6 hours of sleep. I relish my sleep and we need to teach our young people how vital this part of living is to success.
5) Prioritize! There will always be something more that needs to be done. There really are only 24 hours in a day and what you didn’t get done today, will get done tomorrow, if that is the priority.
This article was written by Carol Richmond