We spent 2 wonderful hours at the beach this morning.
It was beautiful. The kids did really well. And after two hours? It was enough. Time to pack up our stuff and hightail it outta there.
Over the years, living with multiple children with over-active sensory responses and heightened anxieties, I’ve developed a sense myself – the “it’s time to get out of here” sense. That tensing up, the glazed over eyes, the hyper-reactive responses to stimuli… they tell me it’s time to be done.
With 3 kids 6 & under, it takes time to go anywhere. Today at the beach we had a pop-up tent (necessary for sun breaks), and 3 bags – snacks, tools (shovels & pails), and towels/dry clothes. We needed 5 minutes to pack up, 5 minutes to get to the car, and another 5 to get settled in the car, sand removed, buckled and ready to go. That’s 15 minutes, which in the eyes of a 3yo at the end of her rope can be an eternity.
Respect your child’s limits. Sometimes, yes, they need to be encouraged to persist and see something through, but other times, and your mom sense probably knows, it may be time to call it a day, even when you’re the first to leave.