Schools ALMOST out!
Last week we talked about the daunting task of summer break with kiddos at home ALL DAY LONG. And we asked the question what was the goal of our parenting and how that can shape your summer plans.
This week we have a few more questions to ask before getting down to actually planning something.
I told you last week that my goal with my boys was to emphasize the impotence of creativity in all its forms and instill an appreciation for God’s creation.
With that goal defined, we have to narrow those ideas down a little further. We’ll start with this question.
What did I want to be the culture of our household during the summer break?
To understand my answer here, you need to know two things. I am an introvert and homebody. My kids are NOT! They are social extroverts that are probably still needing to fill their social tank from the social drought that was last year’s quarantine.
This is where knowing your kids and how they operate is so important. If I was to ask my kids to sit quietly and let’s read for hours and take a leisurely walk at sunset, everything would descend into chaos in the first hour. So, I know my idea of an enjoyable summer is different than what my boys would choose. So, in light of the goal I discovered in our last question I had to hone my parameters so that all four of us could not only survive summer but truly enjoy it. I knew I needed to make sure that social needs and physical needs were met. As well as making room for stillness and quiet, because boredom is an important skill to learn. (See Art of Boredom)
Just like a company has to define its culture and how it will relate to its employees and customer can make or break the company’s success. Defining your home culture help in the process of making decisions about what you do on you summer break.
For my home, I want the culture of our home to be a place of rest, reconnection and renewal.
Rest means we have more days in or jammies till lunch than go, go, go. A slower pace also allows my kiddos creativity to flourish, which if you remember creativity was a goal of mine. (See 18 Summers Post) LINK So creating space and time for my kids to be creative and not locked into a 'gotta be here and there' pace to summer is important to us as a family.
In the hustle and bustle of a school year, sports, and activities there defiantly becomes a disconnect between not only me and the kids but the kids with each other. In the summertime we’re kinda stuck with each other, so we might as well learn to like each other.
How I have incorporated this idea of reconnection is in three ways. Board Game Time, Mommy and Me Time, and Sibling Time.
First, we set up long ago a Day System. How it works is there are seven days in the week, each kid gets a ‘day’ twice a week, where they get first dibs on things, set the table, and say prayers. It helps me a lot with whining and ‘not fair’ comments.
Board Game Time
Now, whosever’s day it is also get to choose the board games in our post lunch thirty-minute board game blitz. Board games and card games allow us to play all together. We laugh, learn, and try to deal with defeat as best we can. Most of the time (Not always) a clear set of rules keeps the game play fun and fair. We have even found some team like board games where it is all of us against the game, which is fun because we all win or loose together. Instead of their being one person with bragging rights. I love this time of the day and the kids do too, because if it’s missed they let me know their disappointment.
Mommy and Me Time.
This is something I started six years ago after my youngest was born. All this is, is fifteen minutes of dedicated time with one kid. Fifteen minutes of an extra board game, puzzle, book, or just cuddles before my boys have some quiet time in their room. This has been such a sweet time to play and meet my kids eye to eye and communicate with my time how much I love them.
On the flip side, while I’m having Mommy and Me Time with whoever’s day it is the other two of my crew are having Sibling Time. This is a time for the other two to connect without the influence of the third wheel. It’s a time for them to work together explore interests and enjoy each other. They may not truly understand why I’m making them do this and sometimes it is a battle. But the relationship between my boys is important to me. I’ve learned that relationships between men and boys are grown when they spend time shoulder to shoulder, so providing the opportunity for them to have that time is extremely important to me.
Here are a few other questions you can ask yourself to help you define your goals of summer break.
So what do you want the culture of your home to be? How can you make a plan for the goal we talked about last week?
Feel Free to share the link with other moms that might have the deer in the headlights look at the mention of summer.