Girls Write Out
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From the quiet, semi-clean space of homes across the world, a deep throaty cry is heard. Yes, stay-at-home mom, summer is amost here. Gone is the quiet, gone is the clean, gone is the sanity. Or is it?

Having done this a time or two (my oldest is 15), I thought I might offer some tips for moms who might be new at this. And if you’re an old pro like me, please feel free to share your own tips.

Summer Survival Tips

1. Crack down early. This is crucial. The whole discipline/responsibility thing may have gotten a little out of hand throughout the chaotic school year. You haven’t had the time, energy, or sense to stay on top of the little monsters. Er, uh, darlings. Make a chart, use a color system, whatever works for you, but do it right away. I use a dry erase board and the kids keep tally of their own points for the week (deductions for leaving things out, pestering, not listening the first time, etc). Rewards and consequences come on the basis of those points. Stick with it the whole summer so they know you mean business.

2. Stay busy. Need I say how slowly summer will drag if you and your munchkins are home day after day after day? Yeah, enjoy summer, sleep in, hang around a bit, but don’t go overboard. Go to the park, plan a play date, have your friends’ kids sleep over. Make plans. It gives everyone a break from boredom.

3. Teach skills. The school year schedule leaves little time for teaching the kiddos how to do the laundry, fold clothes, do dishes, scrub a toilet. Think of all the help they’ll be once they know how. And start an allowance system while you’re at it. It will teach the kids how to use a budget and stop the annoying “Can I have money for . . .” plea.

4. Buy stock in Blockbuster. Okay, only kidding. Kind of. A kid-friendly movie here and there won’t kill them and might give you a couple hours of peace between the siblings. If you sit down and watch with them . . . all the better.

5. Have fun with your kids. They’re doing the dishes and helping with laundry right? You have time to play a board game or pass the baseball with your future Dodger star. Besides, you don’t want the first line in your child’s Summer Break essay to start, Well, other than listening to my mom yell . . .
Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:50 AM  
  Comments (11)
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At 9:22 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

You must have heard my anguished cry! Last day of school was yesterday! Ooooh noooooo!

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got out of school two weeks ago and I've slept in almost every day. The way I see it I'm making up for lost time. Though I think I will take your advice and actually plan something for the day. I can only watch Dr. Phil so many times.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Oh, to be finished! We still have 4 weeks of school.

Good advice here, Denise. :)

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Valerie said...

Don't you just long for the days when kids could be kids - and be safe doing it? When my sister and I were kids, we were outside from practically sunup to sundown. We had a great neighborhood full of kids and all of our parents knew we'd be safe playing at each others' houses. We came home for dinner and then headed back out again.

We were never bored. :)

Today, kids don't even use their imaginations like we did. They don't have to. Xboxes and video games and MTV have taken over. They aren't safe to go outside and play at a friend's house because there are so many crazies out there now.

Such a shame - and a sign of the times.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Suzanne, may the force be with you.

Valerie, that is so true. I used to wander the neighborhood til dark too, but those days are gone.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

#1 is a challenge for sure. We are always sooo exhausted that it's hard not to veg out. . . .and then it's hard to get out of the summer slump!

And I echo Valerie - and not only that, but it's so hard to motivate kids because everything is effortless. We played with blocks and army men and cards and had to set them up each time, knock them down or play the game, and set them up or shuffle the cards again.

Now kids can annihilate a fantasy universe or play solitaire and reset it with one touch of a button.

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha this is why they do year round school in australia. summer break is 6 or 7 week. including christmas. so by the time you have a week before christmas, then have christmas and new year, there's only 3.5 to 4 weeks left.

great! you take a vacation for a week or two and voila, school goes back.


At 7:25 AM, Blogger Andrea said...

I wish we had year round school! I can see the benefits of that. They just keep shrinking our summer breaks and we'll be going year round before we know what hit us.

I used last summer to teach my boys several "housekeeping" skill such as scrubbing toilets. I am thinking about what they can learn this year. I am learning though with a freshman who wants to play football and soccer that the training sessions start soon and go all summer. What fun!

At 4:30 AM, Blogger Melissa R said...

It really sounds like you have this done to a science!! (You are really a PRO!!) If you ever needed a plan B in life you could probably be a navy admiral!

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

This is hilarious. My kids are toddlers still, but I'll remember this post someday. lol

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

Can I admit that my 4 year old loves to clean bathrooms -- actually asks to do it -- and he's a boy! And my 7 year old is becoming a great vacuumer.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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