The other day I looked at my sons, they grew again. The pjs on one child was like Michael Jackson's skinny pants in the 80s. The elder child's head seemed to get bigger along with his vocabulary. He's 8 years old with an idea and a plan to crowdsource one of his projects. Why do I get the feeling that his business will surpass mine by leaps and bounds when he gets started? I think I might be working for him soon.
With long school breaks, a parent has to acquire more patience, strategies on keeping children busy (if you can't drop them off at a daycare or with relatives). Funny, I bumped into one of the childcare specialists at the library who watched my children last year while I worked outside the home. She was happy to see us and gave me a couple tips on getting them off to a good start this summer. I was ready to pass them on to her like a track runner slapping a baton into his teammate's hand that day. Instead, I smiled and told her, "Thanks for the tips."
So far we have summer weekdays that are made up of the following: time to eat, time to eat again, time to do chores, time to play, time to be quiet, time to go out and run, time to learn something new, time to go here and there, time to take care of business, time to eat again, time to eat again, time to...well you get the point. I almost forgot, there are some things that I do to make life a little less stressful with the children. They are as follows:
1. No picking up the phone when I'm already busy with them and everything else. I really don't like having to keep others entertained when I have much to do. They can hear the stress in my voice, and for a few folks, they take that sort of thing personal. Texting is okay, but I am careful with that too. Sometimes the messages can come across like you are angry or something. So if I know my children are not engrossed in something, I don't pick up the phone. Also, I put me first during those tough times if you know what I mean. Kids don't have a clue what ladies' issues consist of, so some stuff they want to do is put on hold until I can get myself together. "Hey kids you know women have some problems and sometimes they have to sit down, so go play quietly and if you do good we might do something on another day." They have a look of concern and then they are gone--they know better.
2. I have little patience for cooking large meals and I don't like going into the kitchen as often as they eat. So I trained the 7 and 8 year old to get some snacks in between meals without my assistance. (FYI - Hide your knives. You will also need to instruct them on what it is forbidden to touch. I still watch them moving around in the kitchen even when they think I'm not looking).
3. All computers and mobile devices are monitored with family safety tools. So I don't have to stand over them like a drill sergeant.
4. Television is limited to a certain time period. FYI - check for the timer feature that will shut it off. (Note: you can do the same using Internet safety products i.e.) Microsoft Family Safety.
5. Take those kids out so that they can run around. A wide open space is a blessing even if it doesn't have any playground equipment.
6. Put a limit on children playing in the same room together. They get tired of one another. So if they share a room, separate them. One can go in a different room with his favorite toys while the other can stay in the room for some time (set an alarm). Stick to this for awhile and they will get used to it. If you have other rooms, use those too.
7. Make enough food so you have leftovers--cooking everyday? Not me. If you love it, good for you, but I prefer to do other things besides spending time in the kitchen while my kids are planning to wreck havoc elsewhere--I don't think so. Watch those kids!
Well I wish nothing but the best for you and the family this remaining summer. Don't forget to steal some time for yourself!
Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight on YouTube channel: nmenterprise7.
So summer break with the kiddos is what it is, I'm doing the best I can. What else can I say?