So, we may need a few rules for the summer after all.
A few weeks ago, I noted how excited I was to have my kid’s home for the summer and how much I was looking forward to spending some good quality time with them. While that is still how I feel, after several weeks of “enjoying” our time together, I realized we need a few rules. Let me restate that – I need a few rules.
“Why?” you might ask. Well, I’ve learned that no matter how much we all love each other – and we do…not everyone in my house has mastered some essential skills like speaking in a normal tone of voice (I mean, you don’t really need to get behind your sister’s head and scream just because she walked by your favorite new building creation, right?).
So here are my summer rules – feel free to make them your own!
- Everyone needs a minute.
Whether it is nap time, quiet time or just sit and read a book or watch a movie time, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE needs quiet time during the day. For our house, naptime is still in play for my three, almost four-year-old. However, for my seven-year-old, this means reading or playing quietly or maybe watching a movie while sister naps. Quiet time helps to restart things if the day has gone awry, reenergize those who might be running on fumes, or help to center the parental unit in charge. My suggestion is to pick the same time each day, establish a routine and stick with it. This can be the best thing you do all day and will help everyone involved enjoy the remaining hours until bedtime.
- Respect is non-negotiable.
We are spending a lot of time together this summer. Again, this is great and exactly what we all needed and wanted, but sometimes, with all of this closeness, respect between siblings seems to get less and less by the day. Our house rule is treating each other the way you want to be treated. Would you be okay if someone took a toy from you? Would you like it if someone always pushed you out of the way to go first? How would you feel if your sibling talked you that way? It’s an ongoing practice, but one that will help us now and, I hope, will instill a little empathy for others in the long haul.
- You still have to take a shower at least once a week.
While the pool is wonderful, when my daughter’s hair starts to turn green, I think it is perfectly fine to demand a shower with real soap and water. I know – totally unreasonable, but that’s how we roll.
- Have a plan.
I don’t mean a schedule, just some type of a plan for each day so everyone knows what to expect. Are we staying home, are we going somewhere, or is today a free for all? This enables everyone to have an easier time since we know what to expect from our day. Spontaneity is still alive and well in our household, but a general idea of the day’s flow is a real lifesaver.
What’s Really Important This Summer? To spend time together. Yes, this is still what’s important to me and to our family, but adding a little structure to the mayhem is helping us all enjoy what’s important.
How do you keep the peace during the summer?