Summer vacation is upon us.
The last day of school was one week ago on Friday. Lockers were cleaned out and by 1:00 we were celebrating with ice cream. Finally! Summer is here.
Saturday morning, hanging out in pjs, enjoying breakfast.
Ahhh…good ole summertime.
At approximately 2:00 I heard it. I knew the words would come. I just didn’t realize it would be so soon.
“There’s nothing to do.”
For crying out loud, it’s a Saturday kids! If there was school on Monday you would be complaining that the weekend was going too fast.
I knew I had to take control before bickering and boredom did.
That evening I grabbed a legal pad and four pencils and offered to take everyone out for burgers. Orders were placed and we were settled at the table when I passed out a sheet of paper and a pencil to each of my 4 precious children. These tweens and teens gave me a wary glance and one even asked “Was going out for burgers a bribe?”
The instructions were to write down:
3 things you know you are doing this summer
3 things you want to do this summer
3 things you should do this summer
3 things you will not do this summer
Over burgers and fries we shared and compared our lists.
“Doing” included the summer camps they are signed up for, a family trip to Oregon, and the neighborhood pool membership. I had them list these things so they would see that mom and dad had already invested time and money to ensure a fun summer.
“Wants” included a trip to the aquarium, going geocaching, and a visit to the tea room.
“Shoulds” included practicing math facts, training for cross country, and reading books.
At this point in the conversation I dropped the bomb. I had a list too!
I am serving breakfast at 9:00. If you are hungry before that, have a bowl of cereal. If you don’t make it at 9:00, hope for leftovers.
I am relaxing and reading books.
I am driving you places.
I am NOT listening to “I’m bored”. In fact, if you tell me that, then I will give you plenty (of chores) to do.
I am NOT making lunch. You have been packing your school lunches for the last 9 months and I see no reason for you to fall out of the habit now.
I am NOT allowing any screens before 10 a.m. and then only after you have completed chores and are showered and dressed.
My list was met with shocked faces and speedy erasing and rewriting of their lists. I may never know what they had originally written in the “things I will not do” category, but now the answers included:
I will not be bored, I will not be late to breakfast and I will not skip showering.
Works for me.
Linking to a mama I admire who has more words of wisdom on summer: