You Don’t Need Stupid Ideas To Keep Your Kids Busy This Summer
Due to the fact I’m the editor of a parenting website, I’m familiar with trends in parenting journalism that happen around the same time every year. We are now upon blogs and websites listing helpful guides for parents about how they can keep their kids busy this summer if they aren’t sending them off to summer camp.
I know for a fact growing up my own parents never read an article telling them how to keep me or my sisters BUSY.
You know how you keep kids busy during the summer? Hand them a pair of gloves and send them outside to weed your yard.
Hand them a garbage bag and tell them to go clean their rooms.
If you want to be a FUN parent, hand them a book and an old blanket and a bottle of water and tell them to go outside and read in the sunshine.
If they are really annoying you, print out some math worksheets from the internet and have them get a head start on the next school year.
My own kids will be doing volunteer work, getting summer jobs and reading. Yes, we will swim and cook out and see family and eat popsicles and start many a fire for the sole purpose of turning marshmallows to gooey gobs of charred sugar, but if my kids tell me they are bored I’ll be making them scrub my toilets.
Parents tend to over think things. We don’t need lists about how to keep our kids from getting bored, we need what our own mothers had, a six dollar plastic pool from the grocery store and some of those 99 cent blue and green freezer pops. We need a sprinkler. I’m not going to tell you to leave your baby or toddler unattended around water in a wading pool, you aren’t idiots, but I will tell you that you should buy a cheap foam cooler in order to keep your own beer cold while you sit outside and watch them splash. Your kids don’t need an itinerary, they need dollar store jars with holes pocked in the lids for catching fireflies. They need sunscreen. They need an old bucket and some neighborhood friends to kick it while they hide in the dark and you sit on the stoop, talking with your friends and slapping mosquitos on your legs.
I’m starting a new parenting trend of refusing to check the internet or magazines or stupid Pinterest boards for lists of how to amuse kids during the summer months. All you need is a spade and some weed killer and a kid who dares to say they are bored.