By Paige Trevor
It won’t be long now . . . .
What? Wait, Paige, it’s May 9th, “whatchyoutalkinbout Willis?”
It’s coming sooner then we think. If we have kids at home we know, remember, can anticipate the joys and sorrows of summer. Luck favors the prepared.
Devices: Think, where do they live (tip: in public spaces, not in bedrooms, this goes for us too!). Think time boundaries (off by 9, devices live in our bedrooms at night, cuts down on the inevitable sneaking). Strict on boundaries Sunday night – Thursday. Chill and relaxed Friday – Sunday evening. More responsibility given and accepted by the child (chores, homework, cooperation) equals more freedom (time and privacy) around the device. This works the other way too, child stops being responsible, device freedoms diminish.
Clothes: Statistically, we all wear 20% of what we own. We bitch about the other 80% that’s on the floor, not put away, un-washed, laying in a puddle NEXT TO the laundry bin. Delete, donate, pass on. Danger zones to watch out for in the clothes department: it was expensive, someone we love gave us an item we don’t love, it used to fit us, I love it FOR them (meaning, I want them to wear it, they do not). Donating Danger Zone: thinking we have to donate to exactly the right person, in the exact right way, at the exact right time. Need more inspiration to delete, donate and pass on? I got you! Children (and their parents) are more LIKELY to put away clothes in drawers/closets that are 2/3rds full and not jam packed. If you have a child who hangs things on hangers without being reminded, nagged or cajoled, please call me. I would like to meet them.
Enrichment: Most of our children would like us to love and admire them and NOT to teach and enrich them. I get it. I bought those Summer Bridge books too. If they work, keep doing it. If it’s a relationship drainer, let it go and read a fun book aloud or doodle, or bake. Again, parents are for love and support. Let’s resist the urge to constantly improve and instruct.
Schedule: Ditch the magical thinking that summer affords ample time for you to be the new you YOU were always meant to be. Patient, organized, loving, soft-spoken, on time, in control. We are still just us, even when the daylight has been saved. That said, summer is a great time for training kids/ourselves to meet some new challenges in the next school year. (“OMG, why is Paige talking about September ALREADY?!”)
Part 2 next week will examine this awesome opportunity summer affords for TRAINING.
Parent Encouragement Program
10100 Connecticut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895