Summering with Teens

Killing time at the library
Summer is finally upon us here in Minnesota, and with that comes long days, so every spring I try to come up with some sort of a plan or system to keep our lives running somewhat smoothly during these few months of togetherness.

A little backstory…I have been a sahm since my oldest was born, 16 years ago. Around 8 years ago, my husband took a new job and started working from home. For 9 months out of the year, it works great. But summers are always a little tough, at least at the beginning, because the house seems to be brimming with people when all 5 of us are here!

Granted, we are several years into this journey and the kids are getting older, so it is a lot easier than it was in the past. We also moved several years ago, and there are less children in our new neighborhood. therefore less people to run around and through the house

But the summer still has logistic challenges for us. I am a giant pain in my children’s behinds by being annoying about technology. If one of them tells me ONEMORETIME to hold on while they finish up a game, I may lose it! I do enjoy relaxing the rules in the summer, for that is part of being a kid, however we need some sort of guidelines, otherwise it starts to get really out of hand quickly!

All of this to say, every year I make a list of rules, as well as a chore list. You can imagine how messy the kitchen gets with 5 people in and out all day long. Add 2 teenage boys and a tween girl and yikes, it is scary. Also, the kids are so busy during the year now, it is harder to squeeze time in for things like daily chores (it tends to be more off the cuff, or “hey we have 3 hours today open let’s knock out some cleaning!”) so I like to get back to that in the summer when we can.

This summer is oddly busy for us. I say oddly because there have been years in the past where each kid was in an activity or camp or three, so it was busy getting to them to those, making sure uniforms were clean and we have enough water bottles, etc.

This year its different. At their ages,we are doing less camps because the kids are making their own schedules. My oldest has a job, summer school, plus a mission trip in July. My middle kid also has summer school, is hoping to get a job, plus he starts behind the wheel in a couple of weeks. Luckily my daughter, the youngest, has less on her plate but still has a basketball camp 4 days a week for 6 weeks.

As if this isn’t all enough, we are taking an amazing family vacation with my side of the family to Europe in August!

So, to save my sanity and to give us some structure to the day, I create a set of rules plus a chore chart. This system is by no means perfect, but we have been doing it mostly successfully for several years now and I guess it works for us. I am sharing them both in case you are interested, although it is hardly inventing the wheel!

Do you use something similar for the summer? Or is something else working for your family? I am always on the hunt for improvement!

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