0:00:00 – Speaker 1
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0:00:30 – Speaker 2
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0:00:33 – Speaker 3
Today we’re doing a show called Schools Out. It’s summer time, girl. What Now?
0:00:38 – Speaker 1
what do we do? That’s literally how I feel.
0:00:41 – Speaker 3
What I mean this summer is so different because we’ve been quarantined and at home for so long and it’s like a whole new space because typically when summer hits like we’re exhausted. You know we’ve been going a hundred miles an hour and we need like two weeks in our PJs to recover, but now we’re like we’ve got all this energy built up because we haven’t been going anywhere and now we’re like what do we do?
0:01:05 – Speaker 1
I remember the moment, you know how, you remember, like big moments in history Where you were what you were wearing.
0:01:11 – Speaker 2
This is where I was.
0:01:13 – Speaker 1
I had that moment this summer. I mean that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. I was like sitting there looking at my calendar, realizing the last day of school was coming up, and I had like a mini panic attack because the rest of my planner was blank and I was like, oh, i’m going to do with these kids all day, every day, with nothing, because it’s all been canceled.
0:01:32 – Speaker 3
Well, we had a conversation about this because I was on a walk and I have one kid that really likes to know the plan.
0:01:38 – Speaker 2
Like lay it out for me, me too.
0:01:40 – Speaker 3
And he was like, so what are we doing next? And I was the same way. It caught me off guard and I was like, well, what does tomorrow hold? like we’re finishing school and this is going to look like now. We have no vacation. Normally we’ve got mission trips and church camp and VBS winter teams.
We typically do our family vacation in the summertime because through the school years it’s just so hectic for us, and so it was one of those moments where I was like what in the world? And then we started talking and we’re like we can’t be the only ones feeling this way.
0:02:13 – Speaker 1
Well, because, yes, every summer things change, but, like you said, this one’s so different because there’s not a lot of options And so, real easily you can kind of start to spiral because you’re like well, let me think about that. And then the next day comes, you know, i don’t really know what we’re going to do. We had that conversation in our house. My kids kept asking and I was like good question, let’s figure this out. And at first I thought this is all on me. I got to figure out what we’re going to do, or the house is just going to fall apart and we’re all going to become couch potatoes lazy, fat and dumb. So that’s kind of where I went real quick and then I realized it doesn’t have to be that way, but I do need to do something.
0:02:51 – Speaker 3
I think that was my little painting attack was? I had these eyes staring at me? Yes, and they’re kind of bored already. Yeah, and we just finished school. Yes, and they don’t need a lot of rest anymore because we’ve been, you know, sleeping later than normal. And I think I was like, oh my gosh, what am I going to do? And we got together and we were like you know what, this doesn’t fall on us. And I remember even one of our team members was like it’s okay for your kids to be bored. Yes, and you know, you don’t have to drive the train all the time. Yes, breathe for a minute. And that was such a good advice for us. And so we kind of thought, you know what, let’s write down what we’re doing and what has helped Help us through this process.
0:03:33 – Speaker 1
Really quick before we start that list. I just want to say it is okay to have a moment to do nothing, to lay on the couch, like it’s okay, even if you don’t feel like you need it because you’ve been doing that, just give yourself a minute. There’s nothing wrong with that.
0:03:46 – Speaker 3
When we finished virtual learning, there was the Saturday that followed. I got at like 10 o’clock and I watched Netflix all day.
0:03:54 – Speaker 1
I remember that And I went and I texted you and I was like I’ve never had a day like this.
0:03:59 – Speaker 3
Since I called Yes, i even believed that I did that, but I think I just needed it for a minute. I needed to just check out, like, do nothing, yeah, watch mindless TV, like you know, just binge watch, and then two days later I’m ready to hit the ground running. And so that’s when I was like okay, i got to start making my list now What we’re going to do. How are we going to feel the time?
0:04:21 – Speaker 1
And since it is something that you need to do, don’t put it all on your shoulders. Like we said, bring your kids into the conversation For us. What that looked like is, once I finally gathered myself and put on like some real clothes that didn’t look like pajamas, i told the kids hey, be thinking about some things is what we’re going to do. I want you to think of things that you want to do this summer, things that you know we need to do. And the third one I want you to think about things you’re interested in or you want to explore or learn how to do, like new hobbies or something like that. New hobbies, yes, and I said we’re going to get together as a family, we’re going to have a summer meeting and we’re going to write all this down and come up with a plan. And they really enjoyed that.
And so you know we started with things they wanted to do, like my kids wanted to go to the beach. That’s something they really wanted to do, something they needed to do. They knew they needed to do their chores and probably continue reading, doing some math, facts, you know, just things to keep them a little bit fresh. And then all of them had plenty of things they wanted to learn that they don’t do Like an instrument, tie-dye, shirt, making stuff like that. That’s fun.
0:05:22 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and with my older kids, i did this too, and I put them each in charge of making their own summer bucket list. Oh, i like that. And my daughter, she’s older, you know, she’s 16, so she loves arts, crafts, and she’s super creative, and so hers looked amazing. It was artistic, oh I can picture it, Yeah you know all the different fonts that she writes in and all the you know. she’s just got a cute style about her And my sons was like really just pen pencil paper writing it down Like he doesn’t care a lot, but he had some great ideas.
And we kind of did the same thing too. It was fun things you want to do, and we had beach, we had fly a kite, little things, go to the drive-in movies, have friends over you know things like that And they knew that we were still going to be under restriction and we had to be careful. You know, it wasn’t like a normal summer. And then the other thing we did was projects, which is what you said, what we need to do. Goals, yeah, and we added in there things like cleaning out our closets.
0:06:29 – Speaker 2
0:06:30 – Speaker 3
You know bigger projects that kind of thing, legos around here. My son has a lot of them and he’s outgrown them And so we formulated a plan to, kind of, because my son he was like I want a summer job And I’m like you’re 12, you’re not really at the age where, like even mowing yards, like we would have to go with him.
0:06:48 – Speaker 1
It’s like it’s like yes.
0:06:50 – Speaker 3
And we don’t have that time commitment yet, so you know for that. So so we came up with a plan to like that’s going to be his Lego business, like putting those together, sorting those and then selling them, you know reselling them And you know things like that. And then what was the third category that we talked about that you mentioned?
0:07:08 – Speaker 1
So the first was things we want to do, and the second is things we need to do with your projects. And the third is things you’re interested in learning or new activities And I learned so much about my kids.
0:07:18 – Speaker 3
When we started talking about it this way, because my teen daughter she was like in board, we’s coming back. Did you know? that’s like a thing now And I’m going to learn how to do it?
And I was like I have no idea Like that was yeah, and so just things like that I think were really cool And it created conversation. I didn’t know that was a thing. Again, pen pals for older girls Pen pals are in again And again. It’s all the artistic, cute fonts and colored paper to match and stickers and all that kind of thing. But be careful with this. We did a post.
There’s a lot of TikTok videos going around That are basically like messaging strangers and becoming pen pals with them. Please talk to your kids about this. Like this is a big deal. Yeah, big red flag, it looks cute, it sounds awesome. But they see these TikTok videos and then they start messaging strangers your address And so we need to be very aware of that. And so what we did is we created a list of people that she wants to be pen pals with. That we know in real life. Some of them are families that have moved away. Some of them are kids that are getting ready to go to college, but she wants to stay in touch with them. You know from her friend group at high school, things like that, and that she has loved that. I mean, she has really gotten into it. She has a whole crate of pen pal stuff now that she like all her different colored schemes Artistic stuff Yes.
They really get into that And they have more time now to do all of that?
0:08:44 – Speaker 1
Yeah, absolutely, i’ll say a really great one, if you haven’t discovered this yet, is YouTube Lego building. This has been like the highlight of the last six months, for my boys especially will set it up And there’s all these kids who are so creative and adults. So I just want to say it’s not all kids who do the teaching, so you have to kind of watch which ones your kids are following.
0:09:07 – Speaker 3
But because they can say words. Yeah, they can say words. We’ve never come across one yet, but it could happen. You’re basically watching YouTubers. Yes, build really cool LEGOs.
0:09:16 – Speaker 1
And they do step by step. So they’ll be like step one and they’ll show you the LEGO and you know what. And then you pause it and you go get that. And my kids have built the. They build a whole carnival with concessions. They I mean it’s incredible what they’re able to build now. And so LEGO is kind of resurfaced as this exciting thing for them to do, because now they can build all these things that they didn’t have instructions for.
0:09:38 – Speaker 3
That is really cool. It’s a big deal. Well, and when my son and daughter were your kids age, they were all about the LEGOs. I mean, it was really cool, but we didn’t really have the YouTube stuff.
0:09:46 – Speaker 1
I don’t know. Yeah, this takes it to a home of the day.
0:09:48 – Speaker 3
Yeah, every set is like 20 sets. That’s really great. And the other thing we did was we talked about I told them I was like look, it’s summer, i want you to have some downtime for sure. Yeah, you know, i know we were doing virtual learning and all of that, but we have to talk about this screen time, because the virtual learning it was about three or four hours a day on screen time And what I didn’t want to happen was them just absorb that with social media or gaming Yes, all three or four hours and think that that was OK. Yeah, and so we actually talked about what that looks like And I said you know, those three to four hours a day that you typically would have been virtual learning.
You need to be reading a book, you need to be working on one of those projects we talked about or doing a new hobby that we talked about, something like that off screen, and then you can still have your screen time that you had when we were virtual learning, you know, kind of thing. But I just set that up for them. And then also, like we don’t have a set time, like how many hours a day they can spend on a screen, because they’re 16, my kids are 16 and 12. But what we do is like like my, my son knows you can’t wake up before seven and get on a screen Like that’s kind of our threshold, and then at bedtime, whenever that is sometimes it’s a nine, sometimes it’s 11, you know, depending on our schedule. But after we, you know, once we pray as a family, that’s it. No more screens.
0:11:08 – Speaker 2
You can stay up.
0:11:08 – Speaker 3
Yeah, it’s just a cut off point You can stay up in your room. You can read, you can do your arts and crafts. If you want to stay up to one, you can do that, but there’s no screens in your room. Yes, Kind of thing, and so we just set it up, so there’s some sort of structure to to it start in an end time with screens.
0:11:25 – Speaker 1
I think that’s really important. It helps your kids to learn how to manage their time also, so, like for us with younger kids, after breakfast is when we start our day, for where they get some flexibility, and dinner is the end marker where screens go off on a solo basis. If we as a family, are going to do Mario Kart or, as a family, are going to watch his show, that’s the exception. But solo screen time ends at dinner, and then it’s family time where we decide what we’re gonna do for the evening, and we sometimes fail miserably. There are days when my kids are on the screen way too much, so don’t think that just because we set these standards, it’s always perfect. There are some days where we just are like blah, but then the next day you know new mercies. Every morning we get back to it.
0:12:06 – Speaker 3
This is the goal. You know this structure that we’re setting up and what we want to see happen. This is the goal for each day but it’s not met every day Right And giving yourself grace. We had a whole show on that. You need to really give yourself grace here.
0:12:19 – Speaker 1
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0:13:06 – Speaker 3
Investment advisory services offered through PAX Financial Group. If you’re just now joining us, we are doing a show called It’s Summer now. Now what? Because this is like a whole new thing this year And in the first half we really talked about, you know, parents. I know it can feel overwhelming. it was for us, but bringing our kids into the conversation really made a difference, like hearing their input and getting their ideas and brainstorming with them about ways to spend their time this summer.
0:13:38 – Speaker 1
Yeah, it helps because it’s not all on you and you guys can create a plan together and then everybody knows what’s going on. And I will tell you one of the things chores and I want to camp here for a minute because I think it’s really important. It’s not just about giving out a list of tasks. I think it’s developmental for our kids And you know they’ve grown a whole other year, you know, through the school year and here we are. At summer They have more time, they can help more.
But what I think is really key here is to be thoughtful in deciding what chores they do. You could just have them, you know, make their bed or put away their clothes or things like that, which is fine. Those are all great chores. But one of the things that has really kind of turned the tide in our house of making the kids feel like they’re worth a little bit more than just the things in their room, is giving them chores and tasks that affect everyone in the family. So if one of my kids does not do the dishes, that affects all of us, because it’s a sink full of dirty dishes and we have nothing to use and it’s gross. We’re all affected by that. Taking out the trash if it’s overflowing and there’s maggots that might affect all of us.
You know things like that. So thinking of chores that, yes, are helpful in their space, but also chores that affect everyone in the household, gives them a sense of worth to the family. So really be thoughtful about what it is that you’re asking them to do and give them a little bit more responsibility than you did last year.
0:14:58 – Speaker 3
Well, and I love that And have the conversations Like, remind them if you don’t do this. Yeah, This affects everyone because it shows them. I think it shows them how to be a team player, how they’re, you know, taking responsibility for things. It matters, you know, and I think those are all great teachable moments.
0:15:16 – Speaker 1
And you know we also encourage our kiddos to thank each other and thank mom and dad when somebody has done a thing that affects them. So if you’re walking by and my oldest has just finished putting away all the dishes, say thanks for doing that, noah, because it reminds them how important it is to everybody.
0:15:32 – Speaker 3
It’s not just a task I love that I with older kids, you know we kind of told them hey, your traditional responsibilities are going to stay.
You know, you got to feed the dog, you got to take care of your room, you got to clean your own bathroom, you got to put your laundry away in the summertime, and when they’re home from school, the dishwasher is their responsibility through the school year.
When they’re working a lot, i always view at, i always view school as like a job for them. Yeah, and so you know, i do the dishwasher through the school year. It’s kind of like our thing. But now, since we’ve had so much more time at home, what we’ve done is said OK, those things you’re going to, you do those because you live here and you contribute to the family, yeah, but there’s going to be some extra things that now I may need a little bit more help with, sure, for example, cleaning the other bathrooms or mopping the floors or vacuuming on a regular basis, and so we pay them a small fee and we negotiate with them Like we, yeah, that’s something that we do, and so they have a core set of chores that they are just. That’s just part of their family involvement in living here for free.
That’s what I say Like we’re, we’re paying your fee, that’s your fee, right. But then the other ones that go above and beyond it may be big things like mowing the yard, things like that that we will pay you for And that my kids have loved that because again they’re at the age where they can’t really work yet. I mean 16 years, almost there.
Almost there with the whole driving thing. hard to believe. But my 12 year old, he wants to work, He wants to make money. but it takes a lot of my time right now And I don’t have that working from home to be able to go do that with him.
0:17:11 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and so you have to find something that works for your family. But I really do love that we have the option of adding chores on that are thoughtful and then giving your kids a chance to raise some money towards a goal or something like that. Whatever works for your family. But just keep in mind, now that they’ve got more time, it’s OK to give them more responsibility. We’re giving you permission. Absolutely Don’t feel bad.
0:17:31 – Speaker 3
Another thing we did We did a 30 day minute exercise challenge. Yes, and this started this summer and we were pretty good during quarantine about taking a daily walk, but now it’s gotten hotter And so the walk, the family walks, are becoming more difficult to do Same here.
And so you know, we have a treadmill and we have a stationary bike, we have some things at home that allow our kids to work out here, we have a bench press and the garage. You know little things like that. And so we have said, ok, you got to do your exercise 30 minutes a day, like you got to find some way. Now we can. you know, if you do an hour one day, you can take a day off. But they’re managing that And we talk about it often. Do you have your 30 minutes in like?
0:18:11 – Speaker 1
we’re holding each other accountable on that.
0:18:14 – Speaker 3
And you know they’re not getting as much exercise as they were in school, because activities, sports, all of that stuff has, kind of, you know, been reduced or eliminated, and so we got to find ways to keep them active.
0:18:26 – Speaker 1
And I’ll just give this last thought on that. I don’t know if this is the same for older kids, but for younger kids they will ask you 7000 times a day about like food or like what are we doing, And so that’s one of the big reasons for me about including them in the planning of here are the things we talked about We want to do. Here’s those activities you can do on your own during the day, And then we also made a food chart, which sounds crazy. I know I sound like a control freak, but it wasn’t for that.
0:18:53 – Speaker 3
I like this.
0:18:54 – Speaker 1
I’m telling you, i think it sounds organized.
0:18:56 – Speaker 3
It is organized.
0:18:57 – Speaker 1
I should have put it in Excel spreadsheet.
0:18:59 – Speaker 3
Then you’re going to be like oh color coded it.
0:19:01 – Speaker 1
Oh yes. Well, if I don’t do something like that, it is constant. Like, can I have this What’s for dinner, what’s this What’s that? can have that all day long?
0:19:10 – Speaker 3
So yeah, explain it to us, break it down. Yeah, exactly what this is, though.
0:19:14 – Speaker 1
We sat down together and we wrote down what are some good breakfast choices and we listed them out on this big whiteboard thing. What are some good lunch choices, What are snacks that I can have and how many can I have. We wrote all that out And so anytime that they ask me, I just point, I’m like look at the chart.
0:19:30 – Speaker 3
So these are things they can do on their own. This is when you have a work call and they’re in charge of breakfast or whatever, and your kids are little.
0:19:38 – Speaker 1
They can do all of the things on the list and it’s all healthy and reasonable. There’s some yummy snacks on there, but they know they can only have one of those a day and you know as many healthy ones as they want. And so it gives them that also that ability to learn how to plan and think about what they’re eating, take control of what’s going into their bodies. And then we also do the exercise thing. So the food chart has really helped. The asking over and over has really stuck.
0:20:02 – Speaker 3
I think that’s brilliant. I think it’s really good. Another thing we did is Bible challenge, so we did this during virtual learning. We read like 14 Bible or books in the New Testament.
Yes, it was amazing, And when it was just a chapter a day, like literally five minutes a day, and then we would talk about what is God saying to you. Well, we loved it so much, my kids loved it so much, that we’re doing it this summer and we’re kind of going at a slower pace, and but we’re continuing on. And you told me about the you version Bible app. There’s free plans in there.
0:20:33 – Speaker 1
0:20:33 – Speaker 3
There’s one for little kids that you did. That’s called like indescribable And it’s like a science thing And it’s seven days and it’s so simple, but it’s good. It makes them really think about how, what, how God created the earth.
0:20:48 – Speaker 1
It is. It’s a really good one. They have a bunch in there, and we’ve been using the House Party app to bring the grandmas into the conversation, and so they do Bible study with us, and so it’s keeping people connected and also staying in the word. So that’s another great thing to include in your summer.
0:21:02 – Speaker 3
Lots of lots of cool ideas And you guys tell us if you have more. We would love to share them on our social media. If you have a great idea that we did not share, email us admin at nextTalkorg And we’ll put it on our social media and say hey, here’s another great idea for parents, because we’re all in this together. This is about teamwork here.
0:21:21 – Speaker 1
You should share that idea. Try to survive summer. You know another thing that I think is very important that we bring up here as we are shifting out of this crazy Corona experience We don’t know what the future is going to bring. We don’t know what fall or school is going to look like. And there are people I just the other day a friend of mine said her sister and kids tested positive just a couple of days ago and they lived down the street from us. So it’s not gone, it’s just shifting slowly And we want to say please don’t underestimate how all this change has affected your kids. Summer is a great time for you to be able to have some of these conversations and really address anything that might be on their mind that you haven’t had a chance to talk about.
0:22:04 – Speaker 3
Well, and if they say they’re fine, if you ask them, are you doing okay And they’re like I’m fine. But you’re seeing attitude come out or you’re seeing things that you don’t normally see, like procrastination or more laziness than normal. You know things that are you’re like what is this? And you’re getting really irritated with them. That’s happened in my home and I found a Bible verse that I absolutely love. It’s Philemon and this little bitty one chapter book in the Bible. It’s one versus eight and nine, and this is what it says I could order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love, and so good.
One of my kids was having attitude recently and I literally just wanted to be like what are you doing with you?
You know, like hello, your life is in Christ, You wanna start preaching all that.
And I thought of this verse, you know.
And then I also thought there’s so much that’s happened and I don’t wanna underestimate what’s going on inside that this kid may not be able to verbally communicate, and so, you know, i just set the kid down and I was like listen, i love you, but this attitude it’s not healthy, i mean.
And you have a right to be upset, you have a right to be angry, you have a right to be confused, you have a right to be like I don’t know what’s gonna happen, and that creates concern and war. You have a right to all of those feelings, but you can’t just yell at people when you’re having those feelings. You can’t just be mean to people, and so we really need to address this because this can’t become a new habit. So we talked about that and it was like life changing, because the kid was like oh okay, like I have had attitude, i’m so sorry, and then it opened up a whole lot of other conversations. So I think you just get down in there. There’s stuff going on with our kids that they don’t know how to say it.
0:23:55 – Speaker 1
Well, and I think, acknowledging if you can kind of take yourself back to when you were young and how things were such a big deal, you know, like prom and the last football game, that date and that dress that you picked out for that big party maybe you were in theater and you had been working so hard for this play and then it never got to happen, or some kind of club or group or mission trip or whatever it might have been, and they may not have had a chance to grieve that And it doesn’t seem like a big deal to us as adults sometimes because, we’re like, ah, it’s just a dance or there’ll be more.
But for your kiddos those things seem like huge milestones, They’re important, And if they haven’t really thought about it and let it out, that might be really kind of weighing on them. So the empathy and the love I think goes a real long way in that conversation.
0:24:40 – Speaker 3
Well, and I think we cannot end this show, kim, without saying give yourself grace, and you gotta go with the flow. Go with the flow Because some days attitude’s gonna be flying, some days screens are gonna happen all day long.
0:24:52 – Speaker 1
The other day when I ripped the schedule off of the ball.
0:24:55 – Speaker 3
Yeah, those things happen And we really again, you gotta give yourself grace, because we really are in unprecedented territory here, going into a summer, where we’ve been at home all the time already And we can’t really travel a whole lot yet. And so give yourself some grace.
0:25:12 – Speaker 1
Yeah. So a couple things to remember. Don’t plan summer alone. Bring your kiddos into the conversation. Try not to underestimate how much all of the change from the past few months has affected your kids. They may need to really talk about it And go with the flow. Things are not always gonna go well, but if you can go with the flow, things will turn out okay.
0:25:34 – Speaker 2
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630, the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast at nexttalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page