Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer Peptalk (for moms with school kids)

How are we going to survive this summer?

When I read about wide open summertime, with no plans or scheduled activities, nature bursting to life and kids everywhere just free to be kids, I get as excited as the next mama.

But then I have a Saturday home with my children, ONE Saturday, with little structure, and plenty of family togetherness, and rain.

Each one wants to do this or that, and I try to say yes to it all, bending and twisting to keep each one entertained, and meanwhile, nobody is looking after the housework, and how do they go through all our bath towels and pool towels in just one Saturday? Yes to this and yes to that and still they fight about the little things, and if I hear one more potty joke or one more yell about who DIDN'T flush the potty I am going to lose it. After ONE Saturday.

Once again, head in my hands, I am wondering “how are we going to make it through this so-called vacation?”

First, a peptalk.

Mama,
Summer is coming, and you are no longer twelve. You cannot expect endless unstructured days, free of demands on your time and your patience. You will not read twenty books this summer. You will not have endless hours to work on your tan. Instead, you will have. . . kids.

What will you do when they fight? Tattle? Refuse to obey? Have bad attitudes? Complain about being bored? Get hungry? Want to play video games? These things will happen mama! Think through your reaction now, and tell the kids what they should expect!

What do you want to accomplish this summer?

The short mandatory list
I want them to have lots of unstructured time, but we also have a few goals: daily devotions, reading, basic chores, and piano practice.

Brainstorming
We're going to brainstorm about things we can do this summer. I have the poster board ready, and I plan to have three categories: Things we can do at home; things we can do away; things we can do for others. Lists! C'mon children, let's list ALL THE THINGS!

Technology
This seems backwards, and I'm sure I'm going to be kicking myself for this idea later, but we are starting out the summer with one week SCREEN FREE. After the initial twitchy withdrawl period, my hope is that they will begin to make a habit of entertaining themselves. (And yes, I'm doing it too, with brief exceptions for “family management” purposes.)

What else?
I'm sitting here with my coffee, mere hours before the last day of school is out. I do not feel ready.

I still wish I were twelve.




Father, 
Thank you for the gift and the challenge of summer. Please help me and all parents who will be adjusting to the changed summer schedule. Please provide good weather and safety and wonderful childhood experiences for our children. Please provide us with the energy and strength to facilitate those things. As we enjoy Your Creation, may we see it as a gift from Your hand.  As we watch our garden flourish, we pray that Your Word also my flourish and bear much fruit in us.  Most of all, grant that this summer may be one of growth in faith towards You and fervent love towards one another. In Jesus' name, Amen.





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