School’s Out! Now What?

It’s June and that means kids are out of school right? It also means a challenge to us parents with what to do with our children to keep them busy during the summer months. For younger kids, Summer Camp is the easy answer because it keeps them occupied and have fun with other kids. But for older children/tweens & teens it’s not so easy to just register them for camp because they like to exercise their independence and will not easily agree to your choices anymore. The answer is to sit down with your children and listen to what they have to say because it’s only fair. Discuss a plan for them to help you around the house doing daily chores: i.e. sweep the kitchen and dining room floors(or vacuum), wash dishes, help with yard work, organize a closet, go through clothes they no longer fit or want and set it by the door for a donation pick-up. This is also the best time to see what size they are now and clothes they will need for the next school year (which is only two months away anyway). This is one of those chores that everyone dreads but yields great results because you will see what you have versus what you will need to buy in August. By all means, purge and clean out your closets – I promise you will feel better once it’s done.
If you have teens that are old enough to work, help them fill out an application online to a local grocery store, coffee shop or fast food chain. If getting a job is agreed up by both parent(s) and child, keep in mind to be reasonable – help your child realize that it may be best for them to start work at a later time, say after 12:00noon because during the Summer most kids will stay up late.  It’s not fair to expect kids to get up early to go to work after they’ve been doing it the last nine months.  Be compassionate and teach them to be responsible by always arriving to work on time. The great part of teens getting a summer job is that they will have their own spending money. Teach them to save a portion away(maybe half) for something they will value – boys like the idea of saving up for a car.  Offer to match what they have saved up.
Have a great summer and always be kind to one another. Love your children for who they are be understanding of their individual quirks. Kids will love and respect you if you love and respect them – yes, it is a two-way street.

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