Summer break is quickly approaching, and I have summer break with tweens! OH MY! I mean, it will be here before we can blink. The last day of school for my crew is today, May 26. YIKES!!! So, the one question my kids always ask, “so, mother, what are we doing this summer?”
Procrastination Jonz hopped in the car last week and asked this exact question this year. Mind you; this is the same child that didn’t want to do anything for Spring Break. And she also stated that she didn’t want to do anything the first week of summer break. GREAT! Cause I don’t either!
My kids already know not to come to me every day talking about they are bored. If they do, they receive a toothbrush and a bucket of water to clean the baseboards. Yeah, I usually get my baseboards taken care of each summer break.
If you’re bored, go outside to play, read a book, do some summer math and reading work. Heck, just do something productive for a couple of hours.
Tweens Can Entertain Themselves
Folks, it’s ok for your kids to entertain themselves this summer. You DO NOT need to be in their face for two full months. They will survive, I promise.
Several years ago, I had the whole mom guilt because I didn’t want to play and talk to my children all day. I felt like I was a horrible mother because so many people talk about how quickly the years pass and you don’t want to miss out on any parts of their lives. Yeah, that’s true, but as parents, we also have lives and responsibilities in our day.
Then I would hear how these little ones are a gift from God and it’s my responsibility to raise them. Hmmmm…..excuse me! Who said anything about not wanting to raise MY kids? I just said I didn’t want to sit and play Barbies or color with them all darn day. YO, pump your brakes!
The Truth About Your Kids
Your children are growing up. They are making their own friends and finding their interests and mom isn’t always part of their entire world anymore.
My kids are getting older, and they don’t want to be around me all day long. They want to hang with their friends or just go chill in their rooms. Trust me; yours will do the same one day too. Yeah, your Princess and/or Prince will trade you for a cool friend. I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend time with them, but don’t lose who you are. Connect with your spouse, do things for you. Get out and Find Your People.
I’ve watched several families unravel because they put their children first in everything. Before there was a spouse, it was just you. Before there were kids, there was a couple.
If you’re new to parenthood, don’t lose the time for you and don’t miss the time of dating and connecting with your spouse. Heck, even if you’re not new, but not putting any time or energy into your relationship or self, you need to do so right this minute!
Ok, that’s not what this post is about, I will come back to this topic at a later date. I’m random people, so bare with me. 🙂
Take Summer Break To Allow Your Tween/Teen To Relax and Get To Know Self
So, back to the topic. Summer is a great time for your children to slow down, relax and learn a bit about themselves. This is especially the case for tweens and teens. No, they will not fully understand who they are, and they will continue to be a bit awkward, but it’s a great time for them to reflect on their academic year, their struggles and joys in the previous school year.
Summer Break is an excellent time to brush up on academic struggles and time management skills for your child to enter the next school year strong and better organized.
Being a tween is hard, and it’s even harder trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in. This is why I say to give your tween some time to relax. But, they still need to get their butts out the house and mingle.
Schedule Some Fun This Summer Break With Tweens
Don’t get me wrong; Summer Break should also be about fun! How about you ask your kids what they would like to do. If they are tweens/teens they are very capable of understanding a budget, so give them a budget to manage. I recommend giving them a lower figure than you plan to spend, just saying. In the meantime, here are a few ideas for you:
- Bowling – FREE check the site for your local alley. Just need to pay for snacks (some locations have age requirements)
- Create Movies
- Summer jobs – mother helper, dog walker, mow grass, babysitter
- Attend local Youth facility
- Head to the beach or the lake for some sun and water time
- Spend some good ole quality time during the day with them. Learn their likes/dislikes by having an open and honest discussion. They need to remember the magic word: RESPECT
Now, I know some of you are reading that last bullet thinking, “she just told me I don’t need to be in my child’s face the entire break! Now she’s telling me to spend quality time??? MomJonz is talking out both sides of her neck!”
I believe hanging out with your child in their environment gives us parents a lot of insight on who our kids are and what THEIR interests are. Not what we want them to be interested in. I’m guilty of this myself, and I’m learning that they have their hobbies, likes, and dislikes. Give them a chance to explore and bloom. Our babies are growing up, and we need to allow it!
They will act differently because they are with you, but you can get an idea of what they enjoy doing.
Hanging out with your tween a few hours each week in their environment is a great way to connect, and learn more about them.
Parenting a tween is like bringing a newborn baby home all over again. You have to learn what each eye roll, each huff, each stomp (you better think twice up in this house), and each tear means.
Back To Kids Entertaining Themselves
Ok, so back to your child being able to entertain themselves. This doesn’t mean they should constantly watch TV, play video games or text their friends. They need to do something to get them up and moving, something somewhat productive for their lives. If they have friends in the neighborhood encourage them to take a walk around the community, maybe a few hours hanging out at the mall, or even out to lunch with friends.
Parents, your tweens/teens are entering the age of true little adults. They need to know how to keep themselves occupied in a positive way, be trustworthy and responsible. Summer Break is a fantastic time you can begin to let the reins go just a bit.
And if you are reading this with younger kids in tow, you can begin giving them things to do for self-entertaining as well. Provide them with a coloring book, blocks, etc. Something they can work on for 15-30 minutes so you can get some things done around the house or relax for a few moments. You are not a bad parent for needing and taking the time to sit down!
What do you have planned for summer break with your tween?