Please stop with the summer slide bullshit.
Please stop crowd sourcing ideas to force your kids to do chores and academic work over the summer.
Stop with the chore charts. Enough with coercion. Stop with the control. Stop the abuse.
Every summer, and often throughout the year, I see parents, usually moms, ask how to get their kids to do anything other than use a screen.
Are we so miserable that we want our kids to be miserable too?
I played all summer long until I began college. What has changed that we want our kids to suffer or earn the right to play?
I don’t earn my screentime. Why should my kids earn theirs?
I’m gonna go out on a limb and surely be unpopular, but I don’t require my kids to do anything to earn screentime. I don’t earn screentime. I don’t require them to complete anything academic in the summer. I don’t require summer reading.
The interesting thing is they are very willing to help with household tasks when they have freedom and respect. I help them put their clothes away and clean and organize their rooms and spaces. They need scaffolding and modeling and can’t be expected to know how to be a functioning adult without guidance.
They choose to do puzzles, outside play, reading, board games…when they’re not desperately thinking of their next earned screen minute. Screens suddenly become just another activity to do along with so many other options. There is no scarcity mentality with the freedom to choose.
I think the screen is just becoming a symbol for our own triggers and lack of control and communication skills
The only rule is all devices are plugged in away from beds at bedtime.
My kids are 12, 15, 16, 21.
They do actually notice when things need done and do chores cheerfully because they’re members of a household where they have a voice.
My kids can’t talk back to me.
We discuss options and I state my case about my concerns for my kids’ safety and health. They have no reason to be deceitful. They know that I love and respect them and truly have their best interests in my mind and heart.
I realize it’s the societal norm for kids to be monitored and controlled and dictated, but it creates disharmony and it’s so much more work keeping track. We’re not about competition or charts or checklists. We’re about cooperation.
We homeschool, but they have freedom there too. We go with the flow rather than strict schedule.
Schools are coercive, humiliating, controlling, and abusive. Students are forced to learn information to regurgitate the info on a test and then they promptly purge that from their memories. Students don’t learn valuable skills in school; they learn how to jump through hoops. Schools are not preparing kids to be questioners, thinkers, or leaders. The authorities don’t want people to have a voice, autonomy, or freedom.
It’s ironic that so many school assignments requires screens and going online.
Children only have 18-21 summers before they have to be working adults. I want them to make memories and have fun, to be wild and free. I don’t want them to dread summertime as just another chore-filled season.
Many schools go year-round and lots of parents overschedule their kids, including during summer. Just because it’s expected and considered the norm doesn’t mean we have to participate in making our kids work year-round.
Also, enough with all the tutoring and test prep.
Kids are tired. Let them play.
What does summer look like for your kids?
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