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 at the beginning of summer to help ease the boredom:
1. 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 the goal. If you want to instill your kids 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. 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. 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 are much more willing to get into action.
4. 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 the family hasn’t done before and that would be fun!
5. It’s okay to allow kids to relax and be lazy, 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 and as the parent, if you feel they are slacking in the helping out area, they could lose the privileges they’ve been given. Be sure to follow through!