Summertime Solutions

Answers for those hazy, crazy days

Was it only last month that I longed for lazy summer days, relaxed schedules, sweet family get-togethers, and time to catch up?

Today the kids are bored, there's too little money, not enough fun, too much TV, not enough friends, too many late nights. What happened?

Reality hit. Summer, with its blessings, also brings parents unique challenges. Here are some of the most common?and what to do about them.

I didn't want to hear "I'm bored"?so now our life is a frenzy of activity!

Every parent hates to hear the refrain, "I'm bored?there's nothing to do." But if you overbook your kids in order to keep them out of trouble or from having nothing to do, you'll find yourself plunged into a summer that's stressful for you?and them.

Last summer my friend Amy had her best summer ever with her two children. Instead of signing up for everything in sight, they went for family walks, played tennis, swam laps together in the neighborhood pool, and explored new areas in their city. Because of fewer commitments, they were able to do spontaneous things together?and grow closer as a result.

So plan a day next week to take your family to a nearby park for a picnic. Hike a trail and take some time to meditate on the splendor of God's creation. Say no to that extra park-district class or music or sports lesson and instead take some time to relax as a family.

The kids get to stay up late, but I have to get up in the morning. I'm exhausted!

It's midnight, and your teenager's party is still going strong at your house. What can you do when your kids keep you up?

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