This summer my kids can do what they want…..
The collective thuds echo around the country as our children walk into their homes, slide their bags across the floor and kick off their shoes. The last remaining buttons popping off as they yank their shirts over their heads.
Mine walked past the high fives waiting for them at the door and hurdled straight over the couch into their final resting position for the next 6 weeks.
School is out. Homework is over. And for my family so is primary school.
“well done boys” I say as they hip and shoulder me out the way.
“not talking to you” says Zak. Talking to me.
He’s still upset from the argument this morning.
“Give me a whoop whoop. You are done. It’s over. Never again will you be a primary school kid. You happy?”
And so begins a long hot summer.
I want this summer to be different. I don’t want to be on their backs every day. Asking them to play outside. Meet up with friends. To get off their computer. To put their phones down. I don’t want to be telling them it’s time for bed when it’s time for bed.
I don’t want to. But it’s still my job.
The boys are 13 and nearly 12. Mature and fairly responsible. They make good decisions unless it comes to bed time and screen time.
Nothing unusual. Same as most kids their age.
Except I’m around all day. Working from home. Listening to the screams and shouts that come from playing on the computer. And I see them do nothing but sit around all day.
And that triggers me.
I want them to be active. To get out there. To do.
But it’s actually bullshit. I’m expecting too much.
Who cares if they have a summer where they don’t leave the couch. Didn’t we all do it?
This summer I’m taking a step back. I’m going to let them be. To do what they want, when they want.
That includes making their own food. Deciding their own bedtime. And making their way to friends homes.
Let’s see what happens.
I’ll either be a mental case. Or we will see a new independence. I’m expecting the latter.
But I’m torn. It’s my job as a parent to push them. To make them do things they don’t want to do.
They are teenage boys. They will sit, if allowed, for 14 hours a day playing on their computer. I think it is my job as a parent to be a circuit breaker.
But there are better ways to do it than issuing ultimatums. Or reacting to their lack of mobility. Or being triggered by the “fuck you” that I hear screamed from one boy to the other.
Maybe there needs to be a chart. A discussion. A timetable. A roles and responsibilities ladder.
Really. A roles and responsibilities ladder? I think we are passed that. I think we are at discussion stage. A sit down. We’ve got 6 weeks to go. Let’s work out how this is going to work.
So. We are going to have a sit down this weekend. Cards on the table. Talk about the concerns my wife and I have. Our trigger points. Our expectations and whether they are really viable or implementable.
We will listen to our kids and their suggestions. And hopefully come up with a plan.
I think that might be the way forward.
Although I don’t know . We are 3 hours into the summer holidays and already it’s stressing me out.
Good luck to all.
I think we are going to need it.