6 Tips For Summer Survival With Kids!
Whenever I think of summer, I think of going to the pool, eating popsicles, and lots of happiness and joy that overflows with fond memories of summer!
Unfortunately, I’m a realist kind of mama.
The fact is that yes, it can be glorious, but often there is bored kids, the occasional bickering, whining, messes, and a tad bit of chaos! Not quite the happiness that is envisioned right? The right way to treat this scenario is to have a plan in place to help keep the chaotic messes and boredom to a minimum. If you’re ready, it won’t be as difficult and the summer won’t test your overall sanity.
- Designate a spot for food. Kids eat at the table. Popscicles allowed ONLY outside or at the table. The worst is when there are popscicle drips all over your house, a pile of plates left in any given non-food area, or garbage wrappers littering your house. This keeps the food where it should be, and the clean up is quicker because of the limits set. This is one that we’ve dealt with, and its better to just make the rules and stick with them!
2. Do it now and don’t wait. What I mean is, if you see something needs to be cleaned, to be fixed, to be straightened do it now and do not wait, so you don’t have to do more unnecessary work later. If it sits there waiting to be done, it’ll just build up, and you’ll have more work in the long run. A simple example of this is we have a toddler that is a messy eater. When she eats, I make sure each time she is wearing her bib , or else we’d be changing her clothing for cleaning every single time she ate anything! If busy it might seem a burden, but we do it because we know it’ll mean more work for us in the long run by having to change her so many times during the day. “Doing it now” helps especially with clean up, or straightening to make it not so overwhelming with housework.
3. Chores Ala carte! Well… sometimes ala carte, but not always! See, we started out really amazingly organized with chores. We sat the kids down and had them agree on who would be assigned to specific chores. Each kid knew what was expected of them, and they chose the chores they wanted to do. After a time, doing them seemed to get relaxed and weren’t being done, so that’s what started for us the “ala carte chores”. This is where as we, as parents, find things we need done, and ,WE AS PARENTS, assign the chores to the kids as we see the need. In our home we usually limit chores to two a day and they earn “chore” bucks that were created to be turned in for money or treats, but only if they do chores beyond what was assigned to them. This system seems to be working for us, however, it is one of those things that’s ever evolving and could change tomorrow! You’ve got to find the chore system that works for your family.
4. Bickering=Boredom! We struggled for a long time how to deal with bickering, especially with my older kids. Finally, we came up with a solution! We took a glass mason jar. Inside the jar we have slips of paper with both random jobs to be done and activities that the kids can do. Some are educational, while most are work related. One example is for the child to look up a subject on the internet and write a one page report on what they’ve learned. A second example is for the child to write a letter of appreciation for their sibling. A third example is to weed the front flower beds. These can be made to compliment your family in whatever way you see fit. We wanted the kids to stop bickering and eliminate the negative emotions. I always remind them too that bickering=boredom and they can find something better to do with their time then be mean.
5. Strikes and You’re Out! We are fans of 1,2,3 method for my little’s discipline. We use time out too. We had to find something that worked for my big kids. We ‘ll say, “Strike 1.” which they know means is a warning. “Strike 2” means they are on the verge of discipline. “Strike 3” comes with a consequence which usually involves sitting on their bed or having electronics taken away. Its really the same concept of the 1,2,3 method but with a spin.
6. Throw Perfection Out the Window! Totally contradicting to everything I Just said right?? Darn it! Nothing is perfect, but it can still be good. A summer can still be good even if there is structure or rules and it can still be good in chaos and mess! Sometimes you just can’t fight it. If the house does get crazy messy with sticky popscicle stains and wrappers everywhere~ well, just embrace that summer is here, and nothing is perfect! Don’t give up & keep trying!
Wishing you All the Luck of a Magpie!