Inside South Florida


How to Heal Parental Summer Guilt and Reduce Stress

Posted at 10:12 AM, Jun 10, 2024

Disclaimer: This Inside South Florida segment is sponsored by Great Wolf Resorts. All opinions and views are of the advertiser and does not reflect the same of WSFL-TV.

Summer can bring added stress for many parents, often leading to what experts refer to as "parental summer guilt." This guilt can arise from working parents concerned about leaving their children at home, the high costs of summer camps, or disruptions to a child's routine. To address these concerns and offer some practical advice, Dr. Romie Mushtaq, Chief Wellness Officer at Great Wolf Resorts, joined Inside South Florida.

"The key to healing parental summer guilt and reducing summer stress levels is to have activities that promote and strengthen family bonds and parent-child relationships," says Dr. Mushtaq. Research indicates that family activities foster cohesion and communication. However, a crucial aspect of this bonding is disconnecting from digital devices, which Dr. Mushtaq refers to as "wolf out."

Dr. Mushtaq emphasizes that putting down digital devices is essential as they often increase stress hormone levels and detract from the joy of family time. "These bonding activities… boost brain chemicals like dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin, promoting core memories of joy," she explains. Planning family vacations with activities that encourage digital detox, such as playing in a water park or participating in nightly dance events, can significantly enhance family dynamics.

Starting this process involves a few key steps. When it comes down to planning for summer, Dr. Mushtaq advises, "Get children involved… They likely know exactly where they want to go and what types of activities they want to do." The next step is picking a date, which can create a sense of anticipation and joy for the entire family.

Taking vacations with the family offers numerous benefits, including creating lasting memories of joy and reducing summer stress. "If you ask an adult, their memories of joy from childhood are taking a family vacation or a place that they used to visit," notes Dr. Mushtaq. Engaging in family activities without digital distractions not only alleviates summer guilt but also promotes family bonding and reduces overall stress.

Great Wolf Resorts provides an excellent opportunity to practice these principles. With 20 locations across the country and a new one opening in Naples, Florida, in September 2024, Great Wolf Lodge offers various activities designed to foster family bonding and fun.

For more information on planning your family vacation and to stay updated on the Naples resort opening, visit

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

Inside South Florida is an original, local lifestyle show focused on providing our audience with informative, useful and entertaining content. It features a variety of community organizations, businesses and happenings in South Florida. It is a marketing-friendly program dedicated to offering businesses the opportunity to showcase their company/products, reach potential customers and gain results.

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