I always like the idea of summer. The reality is sometimes not so pretty.
You know it's going to be a challenging day when the first interaction between your children goes something like this:
Molly: You are so annoying.
Micah: Shut up!
Molly: Don't tell me to shut up! You're ugly!
Micah: M-O-L-L-Y!!!! (As he chases her with his Dollar Store plastic baseball bat.)
That was yesterday ... Day Two of summer in the Means house. At this rate, law enforcement will be involved by August.
The rest of the day unfolded with similar episodes until their father (Mike) finally sent them to their rooms. (He's a teacher on summer vacation.)
At one point in the banishment, Molly emerged from her "cell."
Molly: Dad, when can I come out?
Mike: When I get tired of the peace and quiet.
I am not completely without understanding. Molly was still worn out from back-to-back, end-of-school sleepovers with her friends. And there hasn't been a whole lot to do around here. A change in routine always throws us Meanses off. We all tend to do much better with some structure.
And to their credit, they both separately wrote apology notes for their behavior during their time of confinement. Okay, maybe I'll keep them around. ;0)
It's true. Boredom breeds bad things -- in them and in me. I think a big ol' dose of Somethin' To Do would help curb a lot of the conflict.
I now have a plan to keep them busy for the rest of June ... A youth mission trip for Molly, VBS for Micah and a trip to visit friends in Ohio.
Without a plan, the inmates tend to run the asylum.
Isn't that true, though, yearround with children? When I don't have a plan to address their behaviors, boundaries set in place beforehand, I end up REACTing instead of being PROactive. And when I REACT, I am always in a position of weakness. They are the ones in control.
Sometimes I can slip into "survival mode" in parenting where it becomes just about getting through the day instead of keeping the long-term picture and goals in mind. We are actually raising adults, after all.
I need to always have a plan to guide them, just like my Father has a long-term plan for my life.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
So tell me, how are you keeping your kids occupied this summer?
(I do still have July and part of August to fill, so I can use all the ideas I can get! ;0)
(Just so you know, all disclosures I make about Molly and Micah are with their prior approval! ;0))