Summer is here and that means trying to occupy our kids time and keep them away from the tv and the internet. There are two approaches to this. The first being to tell the kids no and tell them to find something to do. The other being to keep them occupied so that they do not miss not having the tv. I prefer the second.
I love being the house on the block where all the kids congregate, but a few years ago, I noticed some moms taking advantage of the situation. One mom in particular worked full time and left her 10 year old home with her 16 year old. The 10 year old would get bored and come to my house as soon as she woke up and stay until her parents got home at 6:30. This meant I had to feed and entertain her all day long and my grocery bill groaned. I wanted my kids to have friends over, but not the same friend every single day all day long. I thought for a really long time about a solution, then I decided that we were to start a “not before noon” rule at our house. Local kids could not come over until noon. My kids got up early and ate lunch around 11:30 at the time, so by noon, we had two good meals and they were ready to play with friends.
Our mornings were planned for fun time with our family, or we went places with other friends and their moms. One day a week, we went to the library and each day that we were home, we had reading time. We would gather in a room and pick someone to read the book of their choice. We took turns. I chose books that were over the kid’s reading level so that I could read books to them that they could not read themselves. The kids all picked books that were their reading level. When we finished a harder book, we made a poster or diorama about the book. We had some good mommy/kid time.
At noon, our friend was always waiting to knock on the door, and we were always happy to share our afternoon snack with her, but I did call her mom and request that she be fed dinner at home. I was surprised at how well the mom took it. I was afraid that if I phoned her and said that we were limiting our time with her child that she would become offended, but she said she wanted the kids to be friends and that she had feared too much time together would start arguments among them. I was so relieved that she felt the same way that I did.
Some of the things we do to limit tv/internet time are going to the park with friends, going to the pool, going to local museums, going to the Wednesday summer movie for kids, taking a day trip to the beach(we live 2.5 to 3 hours from the beach), driving to the state capitol, having picnics at a different park each time we go, going to the library, having outdoor water time, playing bubbles and sidewalk chalk and doing science experiments or cooking together. #Tuesday #organize
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