TIME TO BRING ABOUT A CHANGE?
“That’s no fun,” whined 3 year-old Bianca.
Rachel, Mrs. Anderson’s 5th grade daughter, claimed boredom on the 3rd day after school let out for the summer.
Tamika and her best friend Joycelyn, both high school seniors, crawled out of bed somewhere around noon and once having had breakfast (in bed) they turned on the TV and watched Jerry Springer, Maury and the Jon Irvine Show.
The reason the girls didn’t look at their shows while eating, was because Tamika’s mom had, according to Joycelyn, a silly rule that banned them from eating and viewing at the same time.
Silly rules like this, said Joycelyn, were usually the reason she and Tamika preferred to hang out at her house because there, at her home, there were no rules.
For Marcus, summer vacation was just that – vacation time which, according to him, was a symbol of freedom. Free to do what he wanted, when he wanted, if he wanted and how he wanted.
Bianca’s mother didn’t know how to make things fun and Mrs. Anderson was at a loss wondering how best to keep her 5th-grader from being bored.
Now, both Tamika and Joycelyn’s parents thought their daughters should be doing something other than nothing BUT what to do with these high school seniors was a question the parents couldn’t answer.
MOTHER MAY I?
Marcus, listen up. Neither summer nor life’s travels provide you the opportunity to call the shots and define vacation by your terms.
Let’s set a few things straight: To make it through the summer months, every parent needs to organize the ship by first establishing a schedule whether the kids are pre-school or pre-college.
Let’s take one giant step in the Mother May I Game.
Organizing the parenting operation needs to be in place year-round but summertime presents a different kind of challenge because the darlings are ours 24/7.
An organized system helps boredom disappear.
It makes fun time find a specialized place in the day’s doings
and it makes watching kids “doing nothing” become an admirable change to productivity.
If there’s never been household scheduling, it’s going to be tougher to bring the teenage high school seniors, who expect to lounge in bed watching Television, into compliance – but it can be done.
ORGANIZATION equals SANITY
Home Schedules help our offspring experience the advantage of having reasonable and predictable days. It sets for them, and for parents, a high level of boundaries and structure, and it provides a comfort level when it comes to expectations.
The high school seniors who think they get to lounge in bed and upon getting up at noon dress and wanna head to the local shopping mall are stopped in their tracks when the schedule clearly shows NO activities until chores are done and any other responsibilities have been met.
Teenagers need to be part of the planning process but not taking it over (they would schedule get-up-time at noon).
For younger children, a schedule helps balance their day because they know what’s coming next.
Swimming lessons every afternoon at 3:00 p.m. What needs to be done prior and what needs to follow?
Baseball practice is a given. The coach schedules it from 5-8 p.m. Monday thru Friday. If the coach can have a plan and we adhere to it, why shouldn’t we organize our household?
A chaotic summer can become a distant nightmare once we parents put our away-from-home-on-the-job knowledge to work for us.
Whether head of the company, clerk or janitor, parents follow a plan at the job – the worksite. That plan is in place for everyone to know when, where and how they fit into the organizational structure.
Home is no different; it too is an organization. And a well-developed scheduling system helps prepare our kids for the real world.
Ways to create schedules can be found on the following websites. Many more ideas/ suggestions are available on-line.