This Summer, I’ll Practice the Art of Sittervising


As the school year winds down and the season of summer approaches, I know that moms can set up in one of two camps: eager excitement or anxious dread. On the one hand, summertime means sunshine, fun with friends and family, and a much-needed break from the daily school emails and to-do lists. On the other hand, it can mean uncertain schedules, kids complaining of boredom every five minutes, and feeling guilty for not doing all the Pinterest mom things. I’m usually somewhere in the middle of the two camps. But I saw something from one of my favorite Instagram mom follows that made me look a little bit more forward to summer: sittervising. Susie over at Busy Toddler is really on to something with this trend. Sittervising is the practice of passively and safely watching your kids while they play. After learning more about it, there’s no doubt that I’ll practice sittervising this summer to help me stay in the “excitement” camp.

I’m a firm believer in frequent independent play for kids. I am definitely not one of those moms who can (or wants to) play with my children for hours on end. I love spending quality time with them and will 100% get in on some board games, playing catch, Nerf guns wars, and jumping in when I hear, “Mommy, will you play with me?” (I know I’ll miss that someday)… but count me out to be at my child’s beck and call all day. Being a helicopter mom is not my jam.

There is a ton of research that shows how vital child’s play is for development, specifically independent play, and how an adult can impact it. Of course, this is a very nuanced topic, and every child’s needs vary. Days when I know my kiddo needs more connection or help or wants to learn something new change the way I parent and the way I participate in playtime. Most days, though, I take Susie’s cue to sittervise.

Not only does sittervising benefit my child, but it also benefits me! I don’t get burnt out and can keep my cup a little more full. Because half of my kids are still toddlers, I must be more hands-on with them than with my older kiddos. (Don’t worry – I’m not just leaving my one-year-old to raise herself as her brothers create chaos around her.) I’ve been fostering sibling relationships to help with this, too! It’s a beautiful thing to see my babies interact and influence each other’s minds and hearts. And I’m constantly learning from them because sitterivising is not about being a lazy or disconnected parent! The art of sittervising is a daily work in progress on the side of my kids as well as me!

You’ll still find me in the background in my lawn chair screaming, “Be careful!” occasionally, or doing the dishes while some (minor) chaos ensues around me, or getting in some steps while the hose causes the yard to turn into a mud pit (much to the dismay of my husband). As I practice the art of sittervising, however, I find how instrumental it is for me and my kids. And that’s my biggest desire – to impact my child’s growth in positive ways daily while also blossoming myself. I want my children to have the space to be free and safe as they play. I want to be excited to spend the summer with them. It doesn’t need to be fancy or rigidly planned to be meaningful – my kids love a $100 water table filled with toys and bubble foam just as much as they love sticks and rocks.

So if this summer you see me parked in my lawn chair with a book in my hands and shrieks echoing far and wide while my kids are slinging mud, just know that my art of sittervising is going well.


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