It’s that time of year again when I become the family entertainment director without ever volunteering or signing up for that position.
Don’t get me wrong, I love summer vacation. I love not having to wake up in the dark of night (5 am) and I’m ecstatic not to have to make another sack lunch for the next couple of months. I’m looking forward to movie nights, river trips, pool parties and hiking. I’m even down with driving the kids to all their crazy summer camps and planning Friday fun days.
But this year, I’m opting out of the summer boredom conundrum!
“Mom, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.”
“I’ve read all my books, I have nothing to read.”
“I’m bored. No one will play with me.”
“It’s too hot to play outside.” (Alright that one’s legit. There are some summer days in Georgia that I worry I might drown in my own boob sweat.)
But for the rest… It’s not my problem! My job for the summer is to provide enough structure that they don’t kill each other. And to provide enough freedom that they have some R&R before the school year starts.
My job is NOT to be the minute by minute source of entertainment. Because honestly moms, you know that they reject EVERY SINGLE IDEA you give them.
“Why don’t you ride your bike?” Eye roll.
“You can play with your legos.” Noncommittal grunt.
“You haven’t practiced your instrument/sport today.” They look at you like you’re an idiot who can’t possibly understand childhood.
“Why don’t you go next door and ask the neighbors to play.” Big lazy sigh.
So here’s my master plan to avoid having to solve boredom problems. It is a week and a half into our break so take it for what it is!
- Structure. I haven’t scheduled out when they have to do each thing, but they know what they need to accomplish each day.
- Work. Laziness breeds boredom. And 5 kids home for the summer creates messes. So they’ve each got about an hour of chores to do either in the house or outside.
- Study. I told each of my kids they needed to learn a useful skill this summer. They chose their courses, and now I’ve got a future youtube marketer, website designer, and facebook ad manager. The little ones are practicing reading.
- Physical Activity. I’m encouraging my kids to spend time outside every day playing sports, riding their bikes, or exercising. This has resulted in some challenging of the brothers to who will be the most ripped at the end of summer.
- Reading. We’re going to the library about once every other week. They can load up on books and always have something to read.
- Limited media. I’m giving them 2 hours a day for screen time. It’s way more than they get during the school year, and way less than they wish they had. Choose the amount that works for your family.
- Fun Fridays. I’m taking every Friday off and we’re going out to play. This takes the pressure off the kids asking me to take them out every single day. They know when I’m working, and they know when they’ve got me.
- Summer Camp. Each kid is doing some kind of summer camp. The older boys are going to scout camp. We’ve got band camp. Swimming lessons, and possibly a Trolls Dance camp coming up. Everyone has something to look forward to. And no one can say they didn’t get to do anything fun.
- Bob Ross. He’s on netflix now and that is literally going to be my answer of what they should do when they get bored. “Go watch Bob Ross. He’s surprisingly peaceful and inspiring. And he’s got one of the best hair dos out there. I love me some Bob Ross. What a happy little tree.”
- When all else fails, give them extra work!
I’m not saying it’s not my problem out of laziness or meanness. These kids need to develop some initiative. Coming up with creative ideas is an important skill for success in life. If I want to raise independent thinkers, I can’t be feeding them their life step-by-step. Or they might just try to live in my basement playing Xbox for the rest of their lives!
Moms, share with us what you are doing to keep your kids focused during the summer.