Sunday, June 08, 2008

Making A Moving On Plan For Summer

Summer is upon us – and the wails of ‘Now what?’ can be heard from parents throughout the land. Doesn’t matter if the child in question is 10, 16, 24 or 44, the lack of regular structure can throw us and our kids into a tailspin.
What do we do when our kid is out of school? How should we plan a vacation when our out-of-control child is so disruptive and disagreeable? My kid refuses to get a summer job – now what? We discovered we are living with a vampire – wait! No, just my teen who has developed a pasty complexion from playing countless hours of video/computer games. How do we cut down on this behavior?
Let me throw some ideas your way that have been useful to me and have also been brainstormed by our StandUp Parenting group over the years.
First – I just love the resource cube that we have put together for our group. We’re all on the lookout for summer activities for kids of all ages – this includes adults! Volunteer opportunities, summer job fairs, classes, camps, youth programs at the local park or community center – these all are fair game. The activity you find might be for your StandUp child or yourself. When the behavior of your young person is off the charts taking good care of the rest of the family is just the ticket. Send the ‘other’ kids to camp. Volunteer at camp yourself where the teens actually like you!
Second – I take great comfort in the encouragement of my StandUp friends. We invite one another to family functions, we’ve walked, rode bikes, played croquet and danced together. Wow! Some of our parents have actually developed relationships with our Acting Out Kids and have invited them along on activities, taken them to college searches, invited them into their homes. Young people who have been acting out have been willing to go to the Art Museum, Public Gardens and spend time quilting with groups of StandUp parents. Kids who refuse to get a job are more than happy to do odd jobs for StandUp parents.
Third – Get together in your group and brainstorm using your resource cube, your resource parents and your combined calendars. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with.
Have a great summer!