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Style and Substance: Summer Break

Michele Armani and Sally Meisenheimer

Michele Armani and Sally Meisenheimer

Dear style & substance:

As you know, school is almost over for the summer. My kids are so excited and I can only secretly think that I am filled with dread. Most mothers act like it is great, but my kids always seem to get bored and mopey. They are 11 and 13 years old. Do you have any ideas about how to make summer better?

Any transition/change usually has excitement, stress and in your case, dread attached to it. We have actually heard this concern from other parents. What we want to add to the question, is how do we make summer a time of growth, fun and peace for the entire family without relying on too much technology, t.v. and “lazy” type activities? Your children are at the in-between age of needing parents to be involved in almost all activities and wanting to do things completely on their own.

As much work as a family meeting/planning session might be, it is a positive way to get ahead of summer issues. Consider these suggestions and see what results you can get with a little thoughtful planning.

What would you like to personally accomplish over the summer, what would your kids like to accomplish and what would your family like to accomplish? Brainstorm in the areas of fun/outdoor activities, creativity, expanding the mind, and also downtime/relaxation. Include vacation plans if you have them or work together to plan a vacation. If a big vacation is not possible, try to go on a mini-vacation, this will serve your family well – we all need to rest and re-energize. “Stay-cation”, the new stay in town vacation, is an inventive term to be off from work, chores and mundane life. It is a more formal approach to the week off, so you plan some real fun instead of “cleaning out the garage” as the highlight!

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