Category Archives: summer time boredom

How does your summer measure up?

For many parents and teachers in the south, the summer is rapidly coming to a close and school will soon be starting.  This means that families are getting in those last minute vacations and activities.  Kids are counting the last days of freedom while many parents are counting the number of day until they are free again.  It’s a mixed bag of feelings and energy.

Due to the ever present social media deluge, many parents and kids experience a fear of missing out (FOMO) as the summer ends. Scroll through your Facebook feed and you will see everyone you know posed on the beach or cruise ship or traveling with their team sport.  That’s where the comparison begins.  Did you take a vacation as grand and exciting as your neighbor or friends?  Did the kids learn new skills at band or sports camp?  Did the baseball team win the championship?  Sometimes it seems that everyone else is living a celebrity like exciting life and in comparison your summer experience may seem mundane and dull.  Worried about what your child will write in their “What I did this summer” essay? Then you may have fallen victim to the FOMO virus.

Reflections on Your Daily Experience

What if instead of trying to have the grandest summer ever, you tried to be your personal best every day… summer included?  Rather than compare your summer to that of your Facebook friends, here is a better way to reflect on and review your summer.  In his excellent book, Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts/Becoming the Person You Want to Be, Marshall Goldsmith suggests that we all ask ourselves the following questions each day.

Did I do my best to:
Set clear goals?
Make progress toward goal achievement?
Find meaning?
Be happy?
Build positive relationships?
Be fully engaged and present?

This is a revolutionary approach to living each day because it takes the responsibility for our actions and feelings off of others and puts it squarely where it belongs… on our own shoulders.  No more comparing our day at home to the neighbors’ day at the theme park. While Goldsmith is recommending these questions to adults, i think they are quite relevant to kids as well.  Here’s what it might look like:

Spend time over the dinner table discussing these six questions.  Model for your children how these questions are relevant for your daily life as well as theirs.  Here are some examples:

  • What was your goal today? Maybe finish reading a book or create a new craft project?
  • What progress did you make?
  • How did you create your own meaning?  This doesn’t have to be philosophical and deep.  Maybe you were being creative, social, learning something new or helping someone out.
  • Did you decide to be happy?  How did that turn out?  If you were unhappy, how could you turn that around tomorrow?
  • Did you build positive relationships with your family and friends?  What are some examples? What did you do that was kind?  helpful?
  • Were you fully engaged and present… did you give all your attention to what you were doing at the moment?

I know that these questions are challenging.  I’ve started asking myself these questions every day myself and some days I fall short.  But the important thing is to reflect, share and grow together as a family.  Let me know how it works out.

Related Posts:

4 Secrets to a Stress Free Family Vacation

3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer

5 Ways to Create a Summer of Renewal

 

Wyatt’s Little Book of Lesson Plans, Worksheets and Games

Just for you!  Here are activities, lesson plans, discussion questions, coloring sheets, word search puzzles and games for each of the six Wyatt the Wonder Dog Books.  Over 75 pages of ideas so that you can create lessons on cooperation, teamwork and leadership skills to quickly extend and incorporate the Wyatt stories.

 

                     

http://wyatthewonderdog.com/activitybook

 

5 Ways to Create a Summer of Renewal

Does summer mean a time of renewal for you?

How do you make that happen?

Here’s how NOT to make it happen:  Dive into the weeks ahead with no plan except to fill every moment with enriching activities.  Schedule back to back camps or sports activities for the kids. Volunteer for every possible  need or request that comes your way.  After all, since you work with kids all year, you are the perfect fill in at vacation Bible school or scout camp. Plan exhausting family vacations and spend time on the road or jostling for  space in line at crowded theme or water parks.  Catch up on lots of classes and get the credits that you need…

I think you get the idea. If this is your plan (or lack of one) then you will return to school in the fall exhausted… and in need of a vacation.

How to Create an Oasis of Summer Renewal

  1. Take time to reflect and be aware:  What do you most need to feel refreshed and energized?  Relaxing time by the pool to catch up on your reading?  An exercise plan to get you back in the routine of regular exercise?  Quality family time to really connect and share? An educational class that will get you up-to-date and excited about new trends?
  2. Survey your family:  Rather than assume that the kids want to spend all summer at the pool or standing in line at the theme park, set up a family meeting to get everyone’s idea of a perfect summer.  You may be surprised at what is important to them.
  3. Set goals and create a plan:  Schedule events throughout the summer.  Create balance with family vacations and time for kids to explore and discover on  their own.  Studies show that creativity and critical thinking is enhanced with unscheduled  and unstructured time.  This is as important for you as it is for your children.
  4. Post a calendar and the plan: Keep everyone informed of the scheduled and unscheduled time and their responsibilities.  Re-frame “I’m bored” as a sign that a child needs to get creative and read, play a game or do something active outside. It’s not your responsibility to keep everyone entertained.
  5. Keep a gratitude journal:  Every evening review what family members are grateful for and either write it down, take a photo or draw a picture for your journal.  At the end of the summer you will have a great record of summer time memories!

Summer time can be a time to be renewed and energized or a time of exhaustion and over work.  The real key is to create a plan and follow through on it.  I wish you a summer that is an oasis  of renewal in the busyness of life.

Related Posts:

Creating Summertime Fun

Create Summertime Memories through Writing

3 Ways to Slay the Boredom Dragon

 

Wonder what Wyatt is doing this summer?  Visiting his grandparents at the beach… Check  out the Wyatt the Wonder Dog Book Series, children’s books with an empowering message.

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Need some activities to keep the kiddos engaged with the lesson in the story?  I put everything together for you in one book!

Wyatt’s Little Book of Lesson Plans, Worksheets and Games

Here are activities, lesson plans, discussion questions, coloring sheets, word search puzzles and games for each of the six Wyatt the Wonder Dog Books.  Over 75 pages of ideas so that you can create lessons on cooperation, teamwork and leadership skills to quickly extend and incorporate the Wyatt stories.

 

                     

http://wyatthewonderdog.com/activitybook

 

Create summertime memories through writing

 

School Is All Over

School is all over

I’m in the next grade–

And it’s picnics and popsicles,

Pink lemonade,

Sunburns and sailing

And feet that are bare

T-shirts and sneakers

And sand in my hair,

Swimming and rowing

And fisherman’s fun.

It’s hard to believe it,

But summer’s begun.~Alice Low

Don’t you love summer? I think this poem by Alice Low perfectly sums up this special time!  I especially love the beginning of summer when it seems like an endless span of time stretching forever into the future. Kids and adults alike need unstructured days of carefree fun.

My Summertime Memories

As a kid I remember roaming around with friends all day exploring, pretending, and playing. Summertime nowadays means working parents, summer camps, neighborhood pools, all-star all-summer sports teams, water-parks and theme parks and video games. I didn’t have any of that growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. Family vacation was traveling to North Carolina to visit relatives.  It was days spent at the beach swimming and building sand castles. I’m not sure if children today aren’t missing those lazy  summertime days of yesteryear where we created our own fun rather than expected to be entertained.

How to Create Memories

Summertime is a great time to create family memories and to capture them in writing.  There are lots of ways to not only encourage writing throughout the summer but to create a legacy that you can look back on or build upon in years to come.  Here’s ten ways you can engage your child in writing throughout the summer. Don’t just give them as an assignment though. Do them with your child!

· Take your child on an artist date to purchase some things to make writing fun. This doesn’t have to be expensive. The dollar store works fine. Consider a special notebook, pen or pencil or some stickers.

· Write about summer time activities but from the perspective of someone or something else. What would the dog have to say about playing in the yard or a visit to the park? Write from the point of view of an object. Does the frisbee like being thrown around or is it tired?

· Keep a simple travel log–each day list the place, the best thing about the day and the worst thing about the day, draw pictures to illustrate both.  What if you aren’t traveling?  Make an “I Wish Travel Log”  and imagine where you’d like to go.

· Send Wish You Were Here postcards to friends and relatives who live far away–even if you aren’t traveling. Tell them what you miss about them.

· Make a summer newspaper. Have a special events section, a recipe section, sports or weather section, a whatever-topic-you-like section.

· Start a summer memoir. Start with the first summer your child remembers and record memories of each year. Find pictures that go with each summer and add them.

· Create a summertime collage with pictures and words cut out of magazines.

· At the end of each day, write one sentence or just one adjective that describes the day on a calendar.  Save the calendar every summer and you have instant history and memories!

· Start a gratitude journal. Each day write something you are grateful for. Focus on one person for a week or a month and write something each day about that person. Give them the journal when you finish.

· Keep a book-graphy or a videogame-graphy or a dessert-graphy. Record games played, scores and any additional pointers or notes for future players. Record favorite desserts. Describe what makes them so special. Include a recipe.

Enjoy your summer and create lasting family memories!!

What are your favorite summertime memories?  Let me know in the comment section below!

Want a great summertime book with an empowering message?  Check out what happens to Wyatt when he visits his grandparents at the beach:

Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns About Winning

Three Ways to Slay the “I’m Bored” Dragon

 

Summer is a time of relaxation and freedom.  It’s unstructured days and late nights;  movies and picnics, wild roller coaster rides at the theme park and lazy days poolside.  But eventually something will probably rear it’s ugly head.  It’s the dreaded “B” word. My kids would usually bring it up after a particularly eventful day spent at Six Flags or Stone Mountain or some other amusement park, where we had been on the go from dawn to dusk.  Just as we get home and I collapse on the sofa, they whine pitifully, “I’m bored.”

The Boredom Monster

In our fast paced, always tuned in and turned on world, I believe we’ve created our own monster. Kids nowadays expect nonstop entertainment and often we as parents believe that we are responsible for providing it.  We enroll our kids in camps and classes, go on family vacations and visit local attractions.  By the end of the summer, we are all exhausted.  Instead of being refreshed and renewed, we are tired and frustrated.

What if being bored is actually good?

What if being ‘bored’ is a good thing?  What if instead of providing constant activities and structured events, we created an oasis of time for creativity and  free play?  For many kids this would be a novel concept.

Teaching children to manage their own free time and create their own activities is an important skill.  When we don’t learn to do this as children, we grow up to be adults who expect to be entertained as well.  Know anyone like that?

Here are some great ways to encourage children to develop an independent mindset while taking responsibility for their own time management and entertainment.

Create a schedule

Even young children can understand a printed schedule that identifies such activities as bedtime, TV or video game time and free time.  Then define what free time is:  a time to use their own imagination to create opportunities for play. Once they understand that this is their special time, most children will look forward to it rather than look to the parent for guidance.

Brainstorm a List of Activities

Help your child develop a list or a notebook of activities that they could review to give themselves ideas as to how to fill free time.  Make sure there are lots of activities that don’t require someone else, a friend or you to participate.  Children need to learn to entertain themselves without always needing someone else to play with. Here are a couple of more resources to get the creative juices flowing:

Watch how this imaginative nine year old filled his summer days at his Dad’s auto parts shop:

Expect Some Resistance

If you’ve been providing constant activity or resorting to video game babysitters when you are tired of it all, you can expect some whining and resistance to having to develop their own sense of imaginative play.  This is a good thing and a sign that you are working in the right direction.

Enjoy your summer while you slay the “I’m Bored Monster”!  Let me know in the comments below how it’s going.  What is your biggest summertime challenge with the kids?

Need some great books to share with your child for summer reading?  Check  out the Wyatt the Wonder Dog Book Series, children’s books with an empowering message.

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