Go From a Chaotic Summer to an Enjoyable One
Do you ever feel like summertime is a bit more chaotic and busy than the time during the school year? I do! Maybe it’s because we try to fit so many things into this season or maybe it’s because our normal structure and routine are gone?
Whatever the reason is, enjoying your summer is possible.
Now, I realize that part of the fun of summer is the spontaneity and we definitely want to keep that part in the mix. However, there are times when we plan to stay home and I notice that kids and being home more often can equal bickering, fighting and mom feeling overwhelmed.
I want to encourage you that it doesn’t have to feel this way. When you create a flexible plan you will take back control of your summer and enjoy your time with the kiddos in a different routine.
What Does a Flexible Summer Plan Look Like?
Honestly, every summer my flexible plan has looked different because we generally do different things each summer.
We have different daily routines.
Our vacations vary.
Our work hours change.
Adventures are different.
Truly, each summer has a vibe of its own.
In spite of each year’s variables, each summer I sit down at the beginning of summer, knowing what’s coming down the pipeline, and craft our flexible summer plan. I also try to anticipate, knowing where my kids are at in their maturity and relationships what challenges we might come across.
The purpose of the flexible plan you create is to turn chaos and busy into calm and enjoyable!
An Example of Part of My Flexible Summer Plan
One year, I noticed my kids gravitating toward the screen way too much. We limit that around here but it was becoming the go-to when they were “bored” (which really meant they didn’t want to put effort into finding something creative to do.)
Part of my flexible plan to squelch this unhealthy habit was to install several boundaries before screen time could even be asked for.
Before they were to consider asking for any kind of screen time they had to:
- Finish their morning Bible study (either individually or with mom and dad)
- Complete their morning chores
- Practice Piano
- They also had to have purchased screen time from the chore store
Once those parameters were met, they were free to ask for screen time. If they did not have any time left that they had purchased from the chore store, then they had to find other activities to do that weren’t centered on the screen (which meant any device – TV, iPad, etc.)
In our flexible summer plan, they were allowed to have screen time once the above guidelines were fulfilled, however, even after that there were still some criteria they had to follow.
That criteria were:
- Only 4 total hours per week on screens which included movies and video games
- No screen time allowed after 4 pm unless it was a family affair. Around 4 pm is our crazy hour here and I found the use of screens amped up the time to turn it into chaos.
It Worked Like a Charm
This part of the flexible plan worked like a charm that year and I found I wasn’t exasperated every single day by the same questions and sharing the same answers.
It was flexible because on certain days it could be changed, if necessary, but it provided an important structure for our summer that was much needed. The boys still had screen time and I kept my sanity!
How to Craft Your Flexible Summer Plan so You Can Enjoy Your Summer
- Can you think of one or two areas that drive you the most nuts during the summer?
- Maybe it’s the dreaded snack question and your kids are always hungry?
- What about when your kids are constantly telling you they’re bored?
- How about the amount of bickering and fighting your kids or doing or maybe they’re sleeping in too late?
The Steps to Make Your Family’s Flexible Plan
- Pick two things that really annoy you when your summertime starts.
- Write each one down.
- Brainstorm by yourself or with your spouse ways to create a flexible plan (some boundaries) to conquer the areas that are feeling out of control and driving your batty.
- Once you have honed in on those areas and feel they have come under control you can always add another area to place a perimeter around to bring even more sanity.
When you provide some structure for something that otherwise feels out of control, you will bring harmony back to your days and allow summer to become enjoyable again.
Click here to access the Flexible Plan Guide printable.
Purpose to Make Your Summer Enjoyable This Year
Summer doesn’t have to be boring or busy and chaotic and filled with strife.
As parents of a holistic home, it’s our job to provide a flexible plan with structure and boundaries that our kids can follow. Implementing this will bring peace to our home.
What are the two areas you are going to apply the flexible plan principle to in your home this summer? Let me know in the comments below.
Laura Mapstead says
I love your idea of purchasing screen time from their chore chart. I’ve never heard of that idea before. What a great way to motivate your kids to do their chores and a great way to pay them.
Hi Laura, It’s great to know that you enjoyed my idea. It’s really worked well for our family. Good to hear from you!