Summer and Teens

teens and summerSummer is here. It’s right after that season of Spring and when Spring hits, if you’re like me, a little panic sets in because you wonder if your kids are going to be sitting in the house, playing video games and listening to One Direction all Summer. No, really. Hours of One Direction music and reading One Direction Fan Fiction (the reading is educational, right?) are for sure on the docket.

This year is a little different for our family because we moved our business home. Nearly all of our clients are out-of-town and we don’t need a big conference room and eight-line phone system anymore. I am sure we’re going to cramp the kids’ style by working from home, but it will also allow us to (strongly) encourage the kids to leave home.

We have a neighborhood pool they can go to if they want to meet a friend, they can ride bikes the less than two miles to the mall for Coke Icees, cinnamon pretzels and Game Stop or Forever 21.

Freedom. If you’re old enough, you remember a time when you left the house sometime in the morning with a bag, a snack, a dollar and didn’t come back until the streetlights came on because that meant it was time for dinner. It would never occur to me not to know where my kids are for six or more hours a day, kudos to my parents for giving us the freedom. I am going to try to be a little more gracious of their schedules. My goals for the family for summer…

  • Kids have to go outside nearly everyday. I don’t care if it’s in the front yard to read a book, but they have to see sunlight. We’re guilty of the lounging pajama day – and I still see a huge value in those as a family too – but for the most part, outside in the sun.
  • We (continue to) eat together as a family. It’s terribly easy to let schedules go every which way and during the summer, more so, but I cherish dinner conversations and laughs.
  • Practice instruments and touch-typing and do chores.
  • Flexible (this is mostly for me).
  • See friends a few times a week. This is especially important for my anxiety-ridden son.

The kids know that I have Life360 on their phones because it’s part of our deal right now. I think it actually gives them freedom instead of squelching it, so that is how we are going into the summer. I might even be okay with them leaving in the morning and not coming back until the streetlights come on for dinner.