Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cure for the summertime "nuthn' t'do" s!

     If you had asked any one of my sons what to do in the summer time when school is out and there is "Nuthin' t'do", the first thing they would have said to you was, "Don't say THAT in front of Mom!"  I was that kind of mom!  If you didn't have anything to do, I had a list of things to do.  They were not fun things or exciting things but I had such a long list of things to do, I never ran out of ideas to keep a whining child busy.  

     As a single mom, I had no time for whining and/or complaining.  A child who ran out of sleep to catch up on, television to watch or friends to play with was a kid who had time to get into trouble.  I could see the signs and I had a habit of suggesting, after they helped me finish the chores, we could all go do something together.  One year we went to Mexico for a day trip for shopping and eating strange food!  One year we pitched a virtual tent city in the yard and called it the fort.  We did camp and fish and go places, but sometimes we stayed home and made a mess.  There was the potato cannon phase and the water balloon wars.  

How to make the Perfect Potato 
     I see the signs of "nuthin t'do" forming in the eyes of the grandson and grand daughter visiting from out of state.  They have been treated to the trip to the local tourist attraction, they have visited their old friends and are finding them dull and unchanged.  They have caught up with their movie watching and their sleep.  By this time next week, their will be complaining if something is not done.  I already mentioned to their fathers that the whining is about to begin.  They agreed and asked how to head them off.  Complaining is a terrible habit and easily formed.  

    My plan is now and always was, keep them busy.  It's a sort of "Head them off at the pass" approach!  I have crafts, art supplies, ideas and idea books.  It is a lot easier to talk kids into doing something  crafty when you point out to them that Christmas is always coming and they are always busy at that time of year.  The grandson started his first woven pot holder project today and the grand daughter will take lessons in embroidery this weekend.   

Mandala ColoringPages and 
     Many of the parents I work for don't believe their kids will go for the idea of old fashioned fun or arts and crafts at home.  They are always surprised when even a teenager enjoys the smell of a new coloring book and a fresh box of crayons.  Sure, there will be the look with the Spock eyebrow raised as they question your logic, but, don't flinch.  There are coloring books available at Jo AnnEtc. and Michael s crafts that would challenge even YOUR genius teen.  These books are now staples on the tables in the homes that practice Family Fun Nights with kids of different ages.  You just sit down and start coloring and they will take a page and color.  Don't spoil the moment by talking.  If they have anything to say, they will start the conversation.  It's like trying to hand feed a deer, don't startle them!  If you tear off the covers and destroy them, (trust me I have a plan)  there are coloring books available that train the brain.  Just offer the pages and the markers or coloring pencils and sit down and color with them.  

 Again, You are asking, what does this to do with preparing for hard times?  

Keeping kids busy, crafting, working, trying to do something they have never done before and doing it with out the use of an I device or an MP3 player is one step away from working, living, creating without electricity.  

Wholesale Birdhouse now available at Wholesale Central - Items 1 - 
     When your kids are accustomed to coloring to kill time or playing board games or embroidering, they can do the same without electricity. They will adapt to a simpler life style when they have been exposed to it.  

     The Summertime boredom is a tool you can use to teach your kids the things they can use later in life.  Trust me.  How on earth do you think I managed to get three out of four of them to mend and sew their own buttons on?  They learned stitching from summertime crafts.  There was a huge thing about patches and having them on your clothes so I taught them how to make them and sew them on.  These skills later came in handy when they were on their own.  They were not afraid of a needle and thread!  The Marine had to stop taking in laundry while he was in basic and start teaching basic laundry classes to the sheltered marines who came to boot without any training.  He was making too much money, they made him quit!  

popsicle stick catapult
Ya gotta love  the Cub Scouts for crafts
     And, I hope you didn't miss the mention of getting my chores done first, before the potato cannon was built.  I made them a deal, if you help me with the laundry, I'll help you knock out that messy room of yours and then we will sketch out a potato cannon.  I will help you get over this boredom if you vacuum the living room while I clean the bathroom, then we can get you busy doing something you like.  

My brother did one like this in less than
a week one summer!
     Yes, it was a mistake when the neighbor kids came to my house to complain because I suggested they go home and help their mom with HER laundry, cleaning chores, then ask what she wants to do for fun! 

     As a parent I suggest you get those kids involved in your chores to teach them how to live, then get involved in their fun stuff so you know what they are up to and you are seen having fun with them, not just complaining about whining kids. 

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