9 Ways to Unwind This Summer As a Family with a Child Who Is Blind or Low Vision

Here come the “summer learning assignments.” Let’s prepare those kiddos for the school year and intensify training now that there’s time; let’s structure this summer just right. Just kidding!

Instead, let’s intentionally let loose and enjoy our children.

 Nine suggestions for unwinding this summer

  1. Determine an appropriate length of time to break from your child’s therapies or training and press pause. Take a week or a month off, and don’t feel guilty; your other TVI (me!) told you to do it!
  2. Plan a getaway. Perhaps a “staycation,” a trip to a nearby city, or a scenic cruise…whatever is in the budget and enjoyable, do it. Make those memories and reconnect.
  3. Get outside. Venture into the great outdoors for as many minutes or hours as the heat allows. Fly a kite; walk a trail; garden; fish; make a sandbox; enjoy the beach; or sit on a hammock. It’s respite, and the whole family needs it.
  4. Enjoy the company of others. Initiate a playdate; join a stroller striders group; take your pre-teen and their friends to the movies; go camping with family friends; invite your neighbors over for BBQ; and join a support group for parents of children who are blind or low vision.
  5. Slow down. Deliberately leave days open on your calendar. Don’t rush your child unless truly necessary; move a little less hurriedly.
  6. Play. Sometimes we encourage our children to play independently or with a sibling or friend, but let’s remember to join them as well. This may entail joining a little one playing with a musical toy, running through the sprinkler with slightly older ones, or asking your teen to teach you their wrestling moves.
  7. Read. Read books for enjoyment; read books aloud to your children; and ask your older children to read to you. Venturing into a novel is like a mental vacation!
  8. Encourage your family members to set aside time for hobbies. Do what you love to do! Help your child with blindness or low vision find a hobby they love.
  9. Infuse spontaneity! I’m asking you to slow down, read, and swing on a hammock—all great things! But really, have some crazy-unexpected fun times too. Get ice cream at 10 PM with your school-aged kids; ask your child what they want to do for the day and do it; take a last-minute ride to the water park. Sometimes we move fast to unwind, throwing the schedule to the wind.

What do you do for rest, relaxation, and reconnection with the family.

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