Summer ain’t what it used to be. But it can still be fun!

As a kid, Maine summers with Dad stretched on endlessly. I had a friend or two but spent my time on my treadle sewing machine, watching old movies, going to the library and reading the Nancy Drew series, walking downtown to look at fabric, or sitting on one of the big rocks around our little pond in the woods with my orange plastic typewriter, tapping out profound things.  I. Loved. It.

I had kids late, and summer ain’t what it used to be.

Forty years later, my childhood summer is unavailable…Children’s Services snaps up kids on their own, or worse, someone else does.  And though it’s statistically unlikely, the news warns us about both and we are all thinking about it all the time.  The little orange typewriter has been replaced by a keyboard in each pocket. It’s a long walk to the suburban library in the next town; we don’t have woods or pond.  And “kids these days,” including mine, don’t even want to do these things.  Harumph.

When I worked in academic libraries, my kids were in care or camps.  Basically, year-round school.  I couldn’t wait for them to spend the day reading on the lowest branches of our maple tree, or finding a little nook on the path that caresses the side of our house.  Or laying on a quilt with me and watching the clouds, you know, like you do.  For hours.

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None of those things has happened.  None!  I’ve stopped feeling bad, almost.

Click to tweet: twitter-128Expectations about our kids’ summers set us up for disappointment or guilt. We think they’ll be just like ours, or magical, or full, or blissfully empty.  On the other side of that, of course, is only compromise.  We can’t force a 1970s summer; authorities would step in! Ha!  But I’d love to help you work out a summer that leaves you and the kids happy.

With a plan and a laugh about how our kids don’t want our dream summer, we’ll hash out what you want and what will work. We’ll work out a screen contract, build in touchstones during the day and week.   We’ll make a fun summer bucket list, and a plan for moving those kids to the next level of independence and contribution before school starts up again.  For all the details click here, and if you’d like to talk about my Summer-Saver VIP day, let’s schedule time to talk.  Just email me at Funnermother [at] Funnermother.com or message me on Facebook.Facebook.Facebook.  Let’s make summer funner.

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4 thoughts on “Summer ain’t what it used to be. But it can still be fun!

  1. Yes! And somehow, as parents, we are now “managing” (great word) summer for the kids much more than letting the kids figure it out. Thanks for your comment, Patrice. I’m stealing “managing” — it’s perfect!

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  2. The summers of my school years ranged from 1956 to 1968. No camps, just lots of downtime, playing outside, and going to the neighborhood pool, interspersed with chores, family time and one family vacation each year. I have many good memories and I can definitely relate to the slower paced summers you enjoyed.
    You are a wise Mom to know that few children would want that same kind of summer and bravo for finding new ways to create good memories.Those are what your children will take into their adulthood.

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  3. Thank you Kate! My idyllic summers were in the 70s, but I do tire of the endless articles and memes saying we can do the same for our kids. We can’t, of course. But we can do other things that will still give them the foundation and memories that will get them through.

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