As kids get older they rely less and less on you being the activity director during the summer. They spend a lot more time with friends, get summer jobs, go to camps. In short they’re a lot busier, which is both good and bad. The biggest challenge with them is usually time management. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Maintain reasonable expectations for lights out and getting up in the mornings.
They’ll want a lot of leeway on this. It’s OK to be a kid and have late nights and late mornings once in a while, but remember, we’re helping them develop healthy habits that will benefit them as they transition to adulthood.
- Get creative in how you present boundaries and expectations.
Check out this moms idea for unlimited screen time – http://narrowbackslacker.com/2014/05/13/how-i-limited-screen-time-by-offering-my-kids-unlimited-screen-time/
- Teach them how to prioritize.
As fun as it sounds to do everything that comes up, it just isn’t realistic. Help them decide which activities are most important to them and also fit in their schedules.
- Set limits on mom’s taxi service.
Pre-teens, tweens and teens who can’t drive seem to think that their schedule should be your schedule. Resist the urge to be the fun mom all the time. If you say yes to every impromptu request for a ride they will assume you are always available and you’ll find your own productivity gets derailed quickly. Have them explore other options whenever possible like walking, riding a bike or having another parent take a turn.
- Teach them planning skills.
Set the standard that they are responsible for hashing out all the details for their next outing. Who all is going, how will they get there, how long will they stay, how will they get home? They can present the finished plan to you for approval.
- Teach them to value other peoples time.
When they want you to take them somewhere explain how much of your time it will take. It might only be 20 minutes to their friends house, but it’s 40 minutes in drive time for you each way. That’s almost an hour and a half out of your day if you’re dropping off and picking up. Have them help get some of your work done to free up the time for you to be able to take them.
What tips or tricks does your family use to make summer more manageable? We would love to hear them! Share in the comment section below.