It's only been a week into the summer vacation for some of my friends' kids and I'm already seeing posts on Facebook about how the parents don't know how they are going to survive these long dog days of summer with the kids. Why not come up with some plans and ground rules now so that everyone is on the same page. Here are some ideas to help you along.
1. Ask your children what their plan is for the summer-don't except "I don't know" for an an answer....either they pick or you pick what things they will be doing. I'm not saying they need to be entertained all summer but there are inexpensive camps and also many job opportunities that can keep kids busy (and out of trouble!)
2. When your child comes to you with a complaint about their brother or sister (i.e." Jake just called me a mean name!") Instead of continuously stepping in to problem solve, try asking the child who comes to you if they asked their brother or sister WHY they said that and if they told them how it makes them feel. We sometimes get in a habit of putting out fires when we could actually just start giving them tools to handle the process without involving you....and of course...that IS the ultimate goal......right!?
3. Have a family conversation now about how much technology will be used this summer. Involve your children in the decision. You might be surprised to hear that they want to use devices less as well!
4. Ask them what chores THEY would like to do while they are home for the summer! The summer can be very long and if kids are not chipping in to do their part of housework it can make things very tough on parents. Give them a list of things that need to be done and have them choose 10.