The lazy days of summer apply to kids too! After school and sports and the many scheduled activities of the school year, kids do need to relax and unwind. But there is a limit. Most times, bribery will work. If they do X they can go to the beach; if they don’t do Y they can’t have any ice cream. You see where this is going? Not the most ideal, but it has worked. Here are some ideas you can instill this summer to help ease the boredom:
1. Set Goals
Set goals with your kids. What do they want to say they accomplished at the end of the summer? Then help them meet those goals – time to read the books on summer reading list; visit to amusement parks or the beach; earn money for special items. Post the goals and help them plan out how they will reach each goal. If you want to instill in your kids to start working together better, have one goal they both have to work together to attain! Then help them plan it out over the summer and check in periodically over dinner to see how they are coming and if they need your help.
2. Challenge Them
One thing you can do is to challenge them to learn something they probably won’t learn in school! Gardening, auto mechanics, singing lessons, music lessons, swimming lessons, diving lessons, horseback riding, painting lessons, putting on a play – if they have an interest, let them immerse in it for the summer – but they have to get chores done to earn the right to the privilege.
3. Pay for Chores
Offer to PAY your kids for specific chores (not all chores), to help them get money for a specific goal, like a new bike or game. They will be much more willing to start helping around the house.
4. Have Them Plan a Family Activity
Teach your kids how to research and plan activities for the family – a major league baseball game day; concerts in the park; inviting family or friends over for a camping trip in the back yard, trip to laser tag, trip to an amusement park, swimming at the local pool, etc. Challenge them to come up with something fun that the family hasn’t done before!
Set Limitations and Expectations
It’s okay to allow kids to relax and be lazy, just be sure to let them know the limitations and expectations. They can play their video games, text and be on the Internet – but limit the time and let them know it is a privilege, not a right. Also let them know that, as the parent, if you feel they are slacking, they could lose the privileges they’ve been given. Be sure to follow through!