We are back from our second planned vacation of the summer, an amazing trip to Chicago. (Look for future posts about the trip.) For now we are getting used to being home again.
Right now I am debating how I want these stay at home summer weeks to look. How much structure, how much of a routine do I want to establish? I have been trying to give my son more freedom and trying not to freak out if all he wants to do with it is watch tv and use the computer (or watch tv on the computer!).
My first thought was to let him have an hour or two each morning and afternoon to do as he pleased. And what was I going to have him do the rest of the time? I pictured lots of sulking and whining and both of us being miserable.
And then I thought about flipping that mentality around. What if I asked him to spend up to one hour in the morning helping with chores or errands and one hour in the afternoon doing learning? Fun learning like playing Yahtzee to work on his multiplication and addition skills. And the rest of the time would be open to his choices.
Do I trust that eventually he will get tired of all the screen time and join me in the pool or play a game? Do I trust that he is truly doing what he wants to do? He is one of those kids that gets obsessed with something for awhile and then moves on to something else. Right now he is stuck on “Stuck In The Middle”, some Disney show.
I am planning on doing some sort of outing each week. Will that be enough of a break from screen time? Of course what I am really hoping is that at some point he will add more activities to his time, of his own volition.
This parenting thing is really hard. I have no idea what the right answer is for my son. And that is the key, my son. I can read all the contradictory advice in the world and still not have the answer as to what is best for my son.
I am going with my instincts. I will let him make his own choices for the next week and see how it goes. I will be as patient as possible with the screen time but if his behavior deteriorates or he is overtly bored or unhappy then I will intervene.
Afterall, if I could spend all day doing whatever I wanted it would include some time on the computer and a little television as well as reading a good book. I am hoping once the novelty wears off he will be more interested in doing other things.
Here’s to the start of a hopefully happy summer at home!