We all look forward to summer, the lazy days of summer. But are they really lazy or do we feel this compulsion to keep ourselves and our children busy at all times?
I am a big proponent of downtime for children. I think they need a break from their hectic school schedules. They need to sleep in and recharge their bodies. You know, growing is hard work for the body. It can't be go-go-go all the time. But they also need structure. Kids left to their own devices can have, ummm, unintended consequences, shall we say.
If you can afford it send your kids to summer camp. There are all kinds of camps. There's something for every kid. It gives them something to look forward to. And, hopefully, inspires them. Being away from home helps kids develop independence and self esteem. For your younger children how about a day camp close to home? That might avoid the homesickness issue for the young ‘uns.
And lots and lots of unscheduled time. Yes, kids will be bored. But boredom is the mother of creativity. Don't cave into the initial whines about being bored and there’s nothing to do. If you give them the space, they will figure out ways to entertain themselves. Let them be (within reason, of course. Let's not be unsafe.)
I'm sure it's very difficult to manage summer if the kids are home and you have to work a full-time job out of the house (or even in the house — that might be worse!) But I think summer planning is essential to maintain your sanity. And there's a balance of providing activities for the kids but not so many that you're a crazy mess. A balance of doing stuff without additional stress, that's what summer is about.
Make those lists. Having it written down will help keep everyone on board with a slower paced summer.
Have a safe & sane rest of the summer.