Summer and Teens

Bless my sweet children, ever since they were little I have created chore charts and checklists to teach them how to function well in life. When they were tiny, we had "sticker charts" where they would get to put stickers on a page for being kind, helpful, obedient, etc. When the page was full of stickers, we would take them to ice cream or the toy store to pick out a treasure. As they grew up, I altered the charts for chores, school work and activities according to their ages.

My oldest turns eighteen in a few months and this may be the last summer I have to prepare him for adulting. We are in a weird transition of parenting where we move from "coaching" into the "cheering" phase. This is the moment where my husband and I pray all the teaching and training made an impact for the greater good. This chapter of parenting is HARD. The letting go and watching our kids fail without us able to fix it for them, ugh, someone hold me.

Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost.
— Proverbs 22:6, The Message

I have three teenagers in my house. They all have very different personalities and ideas of what summer should be like. I want to honor the fact that they have spent the last nine-ish months exercising their brains and bodies in school. As their Mom, I feel compelled to prepare them for adulthood. Isn't summer a great time to hone in on some of those "life skills"? Yes. Yes, it is.

My kids will probably roll their eyes when I present this new summer goal worksheet to them, but they can thank me later... you know, when they aren't "lost".  My intentions with this worksheet is to give them ideas on how to spend their summer days. There is something we all need to learn as we grow up, finding the balance between responsibility and play. Summer is a great time to establish new habits that will help them during the school year or when they head out into the great unknown. Routines slow down a bit, there are less pressures and deadlines. It's a fleeting opportunity to work on growing up with grace and integrity.

 

Tell me in the comments your ideas for keeping your kids motivated during the summer months! C'mon Mama, talk to me.