Summer is here! For kids that means, NO SCHOOL, NO HOMEWORK, and most of all NO REGIMEN. This turns my house (which is already a circus), in to an absolute cluster. The problem is, although the schedule changes for the kids, it really doesn't change that much for mom and dad. We still work every single day. Add to that, baseball season ramps up, so then we are squealing around on two wheels trying to get everyone to practice and games on time.
Now before you go getting the pre-conceived notion that I am one of these crazy sports parents (well I might be crazy, but that is beside the point), I do not focus my entire life around my kids sporting events. However, I do think that it is important to teach your child that if you make a commitment to anything, whether or not that is a team, a club, a group, or whatever that might be, that you stick with it and show up.
So, the other morning after the 4th time I had asked my children to put their shoes on so I wouldn't be obscenely late for work, they finally pulled their head out of their "electronic devices" and I got a blank stare from both of them... I had visions of going postal on their iPads. I was thinking circa 1999 Office Space printer melt down. #PCLoadLetter #WTFdoesthatmean. By the way if you have no idea what I am talking about, you have missed out on a really sweet action movie, and I suggest that you rectify this problem immediately.
When I posted on Facebook about my little daydream about having a psychotic episode on my children's technology, I must not have been alone. Lots of others chimed in with some great idea on how to keep the electronics problem in check, and other contributed some awesome quotes from the movie. ( All were appreciated.) I wanted to share some of those ideas here, along with some other ways to keep your sanity this summer.
These are just the rules at my house. Every house is totally different and no two houses will work with the same rules. These are just ideas to start from.
- No electronics at the table or while eating. (All food is eaten at the table) Adults are included in this too. I don't think it's fair to ask the children not to have their iPads if I am staring at my phone. (Someone also suggested have a box to put electronics in during meals if this was an issue.)
- No electronics in the mornings. I haven't implemented this yet, but I feel it coming. We struggle to get out the door every morning, and half the time it's because I have to ask the kids to do things multiple times to actually get them done.
- Keep a schedule, including naps as intact as possible. Humans are creatures of habit, and we all function better when we are in a routine. As much as we can, we try to keep wake up, nap, and bedtime roughly the same, even in the summer.
- Replace homework with chores for the summer. So, the whole point of being a parent is to raise your child into being a card carrying member of the working society eventually. Children need to learn that everyone has to contribute to make a household run. Because I love y’all, I have made a downloadable chore list that you can print and customize for your children. Once they complete their chores, then perhaps they can play with their "electronics".
- We still keep our night routine the same, by rubbing everyone down with Sleepytime Cream, spraying the beds with No More Monsters Spray, and we make every attempt to try to get 8 hours of sleep. Now that my kids are a little older and they will generally sleep through the night (thank goodness, there were about 6 straight years that I don't know if I ever got a solid night of sleep), I cherish every minute of rest that I get. We all sleep so much better when we keep this routine going!
Chores don't have to be hand scrubbing the floors either, even young kids can do the most basic things just to learn they have to contribute. Now I know what you are thinking....Why would I want to give my 3 year old a job, when it will take 3 hours to complete and then I will just have to redo it? Well, I totally get the OCD factor, but here are some good links for ages appropriate chore lists.
BTW...this parent is a #boss
If you have other ideas or ways that you keep your family sane during the summer, we would love to hear them! Don't keep that stuff to yourself, please share and comment below!
Here is the chore chart that you can print and customize- Enjoy!