As a parent of three boys, each with their own unique needs and wants - I have come up with a plan on how to survive summer, which I hope others may find helpful! 

The players:

- Ethan who has Hunter Syndrome and is 14.
- J, who has ADHD and is 11.
- Dictator (toddler) D, who is a potty training and is 2.
- Ger (me) , who has f’all patience and is 30 ish.
- D (daddy), who just graduated college and is busy with interviews!

The Game: Survival of the Summer.          

The Rules: Survival.

The Strategy: Survival by any means possible. ANY MEANS POSSIBLE FOLKS.

Bribery

If you stop fighting/peeing on the floor/screaming/shouting -Mammy will...give you whatever the heck you want just please s**t up for five minutes.

Adventure

If you sit and colour for ten minutes we can go on an adventure...never tell them where you may go, as this can lead to a lot of huffing and puffing about how ‘mean’ you are.

Simply saying ‘adventure’ can mean anything - the back garden to tidy up the toys so we can cut the grass... eventually; or a walk around the neighbourhood looking for snails in between those beautiful ‘summer showers’. 

Rewards

Not unlike ‘Bribery’ - give them a ‘reward’ for playing nicely as soon as you see them do it - a reward can be anything from their choice of a treat to a small glass of wine for you - ‘cos you’re obviously doing something right if these boys are being quiet, right? Right!

Laugh

When the sh*t literally and figuratively hits the fan, just laugh...it confuses the bejayous out of them and they will be shocked that you’re laughing at a poop in the middle of the floor.

Trust me, they will ask if you’re ok and then that's your chance to say, could you help me please. 

Four times out of 10 it has worked... only on my 11 year old as the other two really don’t care and find poop and pee funny. 

Cry

This may seem devilishly clever of me, but it works... simply cry. Hopefully you’ll only be pretending, but if you’re really going to, do what I do and demand a loo break.

These boys have no idea how to stop mammy from being upset, even the dictator stops drops and tidies up. It’s a move you shouldn’t use too often, as it can lead to “ah come on mammy you’re not even really crying”

Walk/Run

When the opportunity arises with enough space to let them run, Christ, let them and time them and race them and challenge them!

The aim here is to tire those little legs out! And you’ll be getting in shape too. My lads love nothing more than chasing Ethan & I, while I push his chair down a slope. 

Ethan loves it and they try to catch us...Ethans brakes are excellent FYI!

Buy a kite

In fact buy one for each child. They are cheap and my gosh do they keep them quiet. And you can sit on the grass saying “ohh good job, run with it now, the faster you run the higher it will go".

All while sneakily eating that bar of chocolate which you promised you’d share with your hubby.

Ok, so these are not that helpful, but hopefully you’ll get through your Summer and so will your children. It is a hard time for most kids with extra needs. 

I guess my honest and truthful advice would be all of the above and try to remain positive. Get out as often as you can even if it’s just to the local field/park and run those kids!

Have a Summer if the weather allows it, if not make one, because let's face it...in a few short Summers they will have their mates and then jobs and then a whole life where you just become the hotel and pass machine!

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