Local Parenting Experts: How to survive the summer with your kids

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Many students are just days away from summer vacation and for many parents, that can be the most trying time of the year. It doesn’t have to be though!

A Tampa mother of four who is also a parenting expert, gave us the tips and tricks you need to survive the long summer months.

Marisa Langford is the founder of Adventures of Tampa Mama.com. 

She says being at home for the summer is actually refreshing.

“There’s so many different things that we can do together during the summertime that we can’t do during the year, because everything is so fast paced with sports, with baseball practice, with gymnastics, girl scouts, homework and testing,” said Marisa Langford.

Even her 5-year-old daughter agrees that schedules are exhausting.

“I have swim, but right now we are here, then we’re going back to Tampa, go to swim, pick up the big kids, go to the airport.”

Doctor Steve Knobel is the CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County. He says in the summer, you can throw schedules out the window.

“It’s okay for kids to be bored. I said it growing up and my parents said ‘ Go find something to do’ and we need to do that same thing,” said Knobel.

Knobel says iPads and other electronics should be used in moderation and today’s generation needs to learn how to play.

“Parents need to realize that it’s okay for kids to roll around in the backyard. Create something they can crawl through that they can jump over, that they can do these kind of activities and then it turns into, ‘Oh you’re LeBron James shooting on a little basketball court and hitting a three pointer to win the championship’,” he said.

Outside of playing at home, Langford says there’s plenty of affordable activities right in your backyard.

“I really think it’s a chance for parents to think outside the box, do some different things in the city, come downtown, be a tourist of your city, take a riverboat, take the pirate water taxi, make memories that you can do when you’re not so pressed for time.”

If there’s one piece of advice the mother of four would leave you with, it’s don’t overthink summer 2017!

“Not put so much pressure on themselves to make it the best summer ever, because make it the best summer ever translates into, ‘Oh my gosh! I have to Pinterest the heck out of my summer and make it absolutely perfect.”

Langford put together a list of summer activities you can check out here.

If you are interested in free resources from the early learning coalition, visit here.

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