Saturday, June 2, 2012
Summer Standards and Practices
Well, school's out. A lot of parents really dread summer. They dread bored kids, kid fights, messy homes, hot weather, sticky otter pop fingers, skinned knees, sunburns, mosquito bites, knowledge attrition, dulling of wits, sloth, gluttony, ants, etc. I feel the same way. Summer is hard. I have spent a lot of time working on improving summer around here, and I think I have some tips that will really help parents and kids alike. Here they are:
1. I tell my kids that they can do anything they want, after they watch their 5 mandatory hours of cartoons each day. This solves a whole host of problems, and ensures that there is little time left in the day for such things as "going swimming."
2. Follow the 9:00 am rule: nobody gets out of bed prior to 9:00.
3. Never drive by a park you aren't willing to stop at. Kids always want to go to the park and play. What a bummer. I was over parks by the time my oldest was 4. Now when I drive by a park I shudder involuntarily. I don't know why I hate parks so much, but I do. So, I try not to encourage going to them, which means we have to drive a huge circle around the two parks in Rexburg. An extra 5 minutes of driving is totally worth it.
4. Keep blinds and curtains closed. Keep doors locked. Park around the corner from your house. Show no evidence that you are home. When the doorbell rings, hide until the little uninvited children get the hint and go ask to play at some other poor sucker's house.
5. A few cases of twinkies purchased at the big box bulk store of your choosing will provide a no-fuss breakfast all summer long.
6. Don't want to spend the entire summer driving around in a hot car? Then don't sign your kids up for sports.
7. When kids fight, lock them out of the house. I mean, literally put them outside and lock all the doors. Be sure there is some shade and a hose to drink from. We aren't barbarians!
8. Personal hygiene is a school-time concern. In the summertime, anything goes! In fact, have a toenail-growing contest among your children. It will provide hours of fun.
9. Summer is a good time to pretend you are really into homeschooling. Go ahead, try it for a week! It will give you a special appreciation for when your kids get to return to school in the fall.
10. Kids love structure, so make sure you have them get out of their pajamas by lunch time each day. This gives them that feeling of security and boundaries that school usually gives them. Another part of this rule is to never let your kids stand in front of the window in their pajamas lest your judgmental neighbor should notice and feel the need to comment to you about it later.
These are my summer standards and practices. Maybe they seem a little out of reach for you, but I dunno, I'm just a pretty drill-sergeant-y mom.