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5 Things I’m Going to Teach My Kids This Summer

School is almost out for summer. Not sure whether to jump for joy or cry!

As I type this, I have approximately 8,640 minutes left of freedom, when my children officially walk out of school for the last time this school year. Not that I’m counting or anything. I simply can’t wait to spend every waking minute of every day with them, listening to them argue about what to watch on TV, and hearing “I’m bored” over and over and over and over and over. Summer is going to be super!!

I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, though, so I know that summer break won’t be all bad. Already I’m looking forward to a few homework free months, a break from the car pick up line, and NOT having to deal with grumpy children at 6:30 a.m. as I hurry around making breakfasts and lunches, signing permission slips, while reminding the children to “JUST GET DRESSED ALREADY.”

We’re going to have a lot of time together (120,960 minutes!!!) this summer and I fully intend to not allow their brains to rot on a steady diet of Wii, SpongeBob, and kool-aid. They’ll have plenty of time for watching TV and eating junk food and other summertime joys, and we’ll spend lots of time at the pool and having picnics, but I also want to my kids to actually learn a few things this summer. The most important thing? I want them to learn greater independence.

I’ll admit that too often I take care of far too many things for them. My children have too few responsibilities. Most times it’s easier and faster for me to just do what needs to be done, like taking out the trash or making their beds. This summer, I’ll have plenty of time to correct a few of my mistakes and teach these kids a little about taking care of their own needs.

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    The first order of business this summer is this: I want to teach the children the art of sleeping in. They're going to need the extra sleep now that I'm putting them to work! Both of my children, regardless of what time they went to bed the night before, will wake up no later than 7 a.m. Yes I realize that they'll be experts at this when they're teenagers, but I NEED for this to happen before the year 2018. My goal is to get them to sleep ALL the way until 7:30 a.m. Big goals, I have 'em. And no, I'm not 100% sure exactly how I'm going to achieve this lofty goal, so feel free give me your suggestions!

    (photo credit: Flickr)
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    My kids MUST learn how to swim this summer. There was an incident at the very end of last summer where my son jumped in the pool after lunch, forgetting to put on his life jacket. Even though he jumped in only 3 feet of water, could touch the bottom, and was only an arm length away from the edge of the pool, he panicked. After I jumped in and rescued him, I made a mental note to sign the kids up for swimming lessons at the beginning of the following summer-which is exactly what I did. If you need me on Tuesday mornings, I'll be at swimming lessons with the kids.

    (photo credit: Flickr)
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    For what seems like my entire life, I've been making at least two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every.single.day. It's my children's favorite meal for lunch and I think it's high time those two kids of mine take a step into the culinary arts and learn to make their own sandwiches. This will mean I'll have globs of jelly and peanut butter to clean up, but I'm okay with that. Maybe if they master that, I'll teach them Breakfast 101: Cereal and Milk Pouring While Mom Sleeps In.

    (photo credit: Flickr)
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    Laundry is one of those never ending tasks, clean, fold, put away, repeat. I've attempted to get my kids more involved with the process, at least with the folding and putting away part, but to no avail. It's completely my fault and not theirs that I've been doing the laundry myself. I'm vowing this summer to not worry about how their clothes are folded, put into drawers, or hung, as long as I'm not the one who did all the work. This is why I had kids you know, so that I'd have workers helpers!

    (photo credit: Flickr)
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    This wish of mine is a little, okay A LOT, far-fetched or even harsh, but I want my kids to learn to not bother me when I'm working. Since I work from home, there are several hours during the week that I'll need to concentrate of writing and editing. So often, I'm in the middle of working and I have to stop 100 different times to fetch snacks, find lost toys, fix the remote control, and break up fights. Barring a true emergency, I think it's reasonable that at ages 5 and 6 1/2, they can take care of their basic needs for short periods of time that I tell them I'm working. My children will learn greater independence and I will meet my deadlines.

    (photo credit: Flickr)

What do you plan to teach your kids this summer?

(photo credit: Flickr)

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