Summertime is the time when school is out, the sun is out and kids get to experience two very different things: freedom and boredom. It’s really a conundrum as a parent because you love seeing your kids enjoying time off from the rigors of school, but without 6-7 hours of their day taking up time, kids are often bored. In a perfect world, parents could have all the time and money to take the summers off with their kids to play along with them, but we all know that’s not the reality for even a tiny fraction of living, breathing human beings. So, here most parents sit with the challenge of how to combat summer boredom, so that their kids feel happy and fulfilled until that long-awaited (or dreaded) first day of school. Here are some ways to do just that:
Have a Variety of Things to Do at Home
Sidewalk chalk, a backyard sprinkler, coloring/art supplies, video games, movies, board games, toys. These are all inexpensive things, or things many parents have on hand that children can use to entertain themselves. Have these items at a level that is easily accessible, and when the word’s “I’m bored” are spoken, kindly direct your children to the list of choices. You can always double the fun by joining them for a bit. These are all great activities sure to combat summer boredom.
Put your Child in a Summer Activity
Scout camp, soccer camp, dance class. Many of these things are going on throughout the summer and can give your children that much needed out. It may just be once or twice a week, but it will give them something to look forward to. This is also a chance to stretch them physically and mentally when the regular school day isn’t there. Be careful, however, not to overdo it. You don’t want to turn summer freedom into summer stress.
Put Them to Work
Boredom doesn’t always need to be combated with play or entertainment. In fact, summer vacation, or rather, spring and fall breaks which were the breaks in the early days of formal education, were for children to help plant and harvest crops. You might want to remind your children of this fact when you politely command that they spend some of their “bored” time cleaning up around the house.
Plan a Vacation
It might not be feasible timewise or financially to plan several vacations, but perhaps one might be worth considering during the summer. This will give you and your children something to look forward to or even save money towards. You may find that the days leading up to the vacation are filled with excitement, and the days following are filled with contentment to be home and do absolutely nothing. Combat summer boredom with a week-long vacation because this very well might buy you two weeks-worth of happy children.
Planning is great, but so is flying by the seat of your pants. If you have a day off, take a spur of the moment day trip to a national or state park. Go out for pizza. Go for a bike ride. Take snippets of time to fill with experiences when you are able. The unplanned trips or activities are often the ones worth remembering.
Don’t Fight It
There is the saying that only boring people are bored, and it is mostly true. There will be many days when your kids complain of being bored, and there is nothing you can or should do about it. Let them figure out productive things to do with their time without your guidance, and in turn become content, self-reliant adults. What more can a parent ask for?
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