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Oregon Family Magazine

Summer Time, Oh Summer Time

07/14/2010 ● By Anonymous
I don't know?...  I guess it's a love-hate relationship I have with summer time.   I mean, what's not to love? - - Great weather.... BBQ's... no schedules... no homework hassles... family vacations.  In theory, it's a wonderful time of year, right?!  It's what we look forward to all year long (during school).

Then it arrives.  The kids are home, and before the end of the first month.... it BEGINS!!  The "summer boredom blues".  And with that comes a whole host of other behaviors I didn't even know existed. UGH!!

When I think back to when I was a kid (which wasn't TOO long ago!), I remember being outside, playing, hanging out with friends, being at the pool all day long, going places, and staying busy ALL DAY LONG!! And, that was without prodding or begging from my parents!!  I loved summer time.  It went by too fast, and I don't ever remember being bored.

So, I'm having a hard time grasping this new way.   How do you "get bored" if you have nothing to do except what YOU would like to do??   I mean, come on... pick something!  Do something! What's the problem??

Summer Camps are great - but the Money Tree in my backyard just hasn't been producing as much lately, and those darn camps get expensive!   Carting kids from one place to another so they "have something to do" gets tiresome quickly too. Playing the "at-home camp counselor" seems to be my destiny.  The problem I have with all this is, I believe children need to learn to occupy themselves (without direction) like the good ole' days.  They need to learn to BE bored- and be OKAY with it.  It's in those "down" moments when the most genius ideas and thoughts float to the top.  It's where brilliance is born!

Let's not even talk about co-existing with siblings during summer time.  Now you have more than two of these boredom-stricken "things" under the same roof, at the same time.  That just wreaks of fussing and fighting and bickering and teasing and non-stop interventions.  Okay, I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

The good news is - it really HASN'T been that bad for me.  I'm pretty lucky to have two really great kiddos (both boys), and no tolerance for the aforementioned.  That's not to suggest they don't "try" it - but they learn real quickly from Sgt. Mom - "Not in MY house... Not on my time"!   To nip it in the bud sometimes it feels very much like a regression in parenting - - back to the days of time outs, going to your room, loss of privileges, etc.  - but, thankfully they usually come right be around.  Still not easy though.  Kids soooo need routine and structure be feel "safe" and comfortable.  All that goes away in the summer, and your left with a blank slate.  That's kinda hard for ANYone to face.  Top it off with immaturity and/or low coping skills, and it's just more than some can handle.

So, we count the days till school begins.  Make the best of the down-times, enjoy the fun times and activities we have planned together, and let the chips lay where they fall.  All in all, I'm grateful.  Grateful for my kids.  Grateful to have opportunities and choices.  Grateful to live in a wonderful place.  Grateful for summer time.  And also (in all honesty) I'll be grateful when school starts again :-)