Summer break is only a few days away and I’ll admit, I’m kind of freaking out. Part of me is pretty impressed with myself for getting the kids through another school year. The final few weeks are like completing a huge project. Time to pat myself on the back for getting them to school every day, well, most days…enough days. They were on time more than they were late, they had clothes on, and lunches tucked into their licensed character backpacks. Pretty impressive right? I think so.
But here we are approaching summer vacation and I’m stressing about having to entertain all four of my kids at home, at once. For one hundred and four days (at least that’s how long my kids say they are school free), I have to plan ahead for three daily mealsx4, break-up sibling rivalry battles, and convince them that mom isn’t yelling, she’s just speaking loudly. Our last summer together induced migraines for me, and disappointment for them. While I had plans to create a memorable summer, it was washed away after listening to them argue with each other and complain about their boredom over the first few weeks at home. I spent my days trying to get them to behave by enforcing rules, rewarding good behavior, and eventually bribing the four of them. Basically I caved and they ruled summer.
This summer the planner in me says things will be different, but the procastinator in me is still playing catch up with end of the school year priorities. So here we are, two days out and I’m scrambling for my plan.
Top of the list? A schedule. I know, ew. But I believe that’s where we fell short last summer. My kids didn’t know what to do with themselves, and the few activities I did try to include them in were not always age appropriate for all four. I need to create a loose schedule and examine my kids’ interests and personalities. My two grade school age children couldn’t be more different. My oldest daughter is a planner, and loves an open-ended planned activity such as a craft, or a family picnic. My oldest son loves adventure and his imagination. Let him outside and he’ll go to Africa, or tromp through the desert right in our own backyard. The younger two? Making, baking and getting messy.
I hope to let my kids have a relaxing summer full of activities. How can we do both? Balance. And like I said, a plan. An activity can be relaxing for one personality but stimulating for another. Finding activities that nurture all my kids’ needs will create family fun for everyone! Stay tuned for my next post which will include a free printable to help you examine your own child’s, or grand-child’s interests, and explore activities that will make their summer a memorable one!