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Creating summer routines

Creating summer routines

There was a freedom to summers growing up. That knowledge that I didn’t have to be somewhere at a certain time and could spend my days reading under a tree or playing night games with cousins made created some happy memories as a child. It also created some headaches for my mother, who tried to keep our house from becoming too much of a zoo while allowing us that freedom to grow and learn and play.

My mom is a wise woman and did a couple of things that allowed our family to find that balance between freedom and schedule.

She picked a couple of things that were non-negotiable. What those one or two things were changed from year to year as our family situation changed. Usually on that list was something about how chores needed to be finished before we played with friends or spent the day playing in the sprinklers. But, she allowed us to decided exactly what that looked like. If we wanted to fritter away our morning as we did our chores, then we could. If we wanted to attack our chores and get them out of way and have the rest of the day to ourselves, we could do that too. She knew that being able to take responsibilities for our actions included the consequences that came along with that. There were times I remember, missing out on movies or trips to the park with friends because my chores weren’t done.

She just didn’t set non-negotiables, she always let us know what they were so there was no confusion. And everybody always does better when they know what expected of them.

My mom thought didn’t have to worry about technology and cell phones because most families didn’t have cable and the phone only allowed you to travel so far. Not the case today. So many tween and teens are glued to their phones, a problem that is only amplified during summer when many of them have increased spare time. Throw in the TV and the computer and it’s a potential land mind.

This nifty little printable allows you to write down your expectations of what your child is supposed to do before they’re allowed to use their phone, or watch tv, or play on the computer. The duties on it can be changed daily or weekly depending on the needs of your family.