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The ONE thing your family MUST do this summer…                

Only 20 percent of Harvard Graduates could answer this Dad Vibe inspired question, while 80 percent of kindergarten children got it right – fantastic parents get it right too! 

(** I added this DV classic line) 

The Poor have IT,

The Rich need IT,

IT is greater than God,

IT is more evil than the Devil,

And if you eat IT, you will DIE!

**And if your kids do THIS, they will have the greatest summer EVER!

 

What is IT?  _____________________________________

 

Did you solve it yet?

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Talk it out.

Phone a friend.

Google it.

The answer is the key to your summer happiness!

 

While you do that, let’s think about…

The end of school…

The end of school lunches…

The end of ballet…

The end of soccer…

The end of baseball…

The end of rugby…

The end of gymnastics…

The end of swim lessons…

The end is near.

At a soccer game last week, I overheard a gaggle of parents dreading and lamenting the summer with, “What are we going to do with the kids this summer?”

If I was a brave enough, I would have said “Try nothing!”

“Have them do nothing, and just be kids.  Maybe they will make forts, play in the dirt, ride bikes, shoot hoops, street hockey, play games, imagine battles, or just lie on the grass and look up and dream!  Give them the gift of unscripted time to just be kids.

We constantly tell our kids to “Just go and Play!” Then we get frustrated when they just sit there and say the B-Word, “I’m Bored”.

Kids today have no idea what to do with a spare 20 unscripted minutes (my kids included), but a giant cardboard box has helped me see the light of real play.

Neighbours asked if we wanted a giant appliance box for the kids, of course I said yes!  (After all, the cardboard box has always been my favourite in the National Toy Hall of Fame).

The play in the box has not stopped since we got it.  And I didn’t have to initiate or start the play.  Play just happened.   That box has been a pirate ship, clubhouse, puppet theatre, a ‘stuffie vet’, fort, and now a ‘condo’.  When the kids get home after school, all 3 drop school bags immediately and head to the box.  Seriously, it has been hilarious to watch.

Let me confess.  I am somewhat of a hypocrite (can you be “somewhat” of a hypocrite?  No. I think not).   I am a full blooded hypocrite.  In the parenting workshops I lead, I preach about NOT over scheduling your kids.   I mock the mom that rejoiced at finding something Tuesday afternoons that fit between piano and tae-kwon-do…

Yet, our calendar is as full as fraternity brothers at an all-you-can-eat-beer-sausage night.  Every day it seems we are driving across the city to do something somewhere (usually with me as the coach)… Stop the insanity!

The kids have been ‘on stage’ in school and sport for 10 months, please let them have a summer of nothing.  Decompress, defrag, and just chill.  Organize play dates here and there, maybe a weeklong camp to break up summer, but largely, try and let them LEARN or remember how to play unscripted.

All this month, my kids will ask me what we are doing after school today, and if I can say nothing, they say cool!

I can’t wait to wake up in the summer and have nothing to do everyday!

Nothing scheduled.

Nothing we have paid for;

Nothing we need to rush the kids to.

Just wake and see where the day takes us – for a walk, to the park, fishing, recycling depot, pajama day, couch forts, SPCA, biking, hiking, who knows?!?    That is so freakin’ exciting to me…

Your summer of NOTHING is just a few weeks away.  Are you ready to enjoy?

Did you get the puzzler answer yet?

“Your time” + “Nothing” = Happiness! 

That is the only math your kids need to know now.

Until next time!

Comments

comments

  • I’m hearing ya! Great article, I couldn’t agree more!

  • Seriously dude… where do you get your energy? :)

  • we have a summer of nothing planned :)

  • This is how my parent’s raised us! Best summers ever!

  • Hear – hear !!
    Must remember to do nothing with them though.

  • I can do this!

  • Char Jun 8, 2013 Reply

    I think it’s important to re-iterate this is not “let them do electronics/shows all day” nothing this is go enjoy the real world WITH your kids un-scheduled, go play! Great thinking! Something we strive for any chance we can :)

    • Jeff Jun 11, 2013 Reply

      Hey Char!

      You are so right — screen time is such a big deal in so many families! My article this week is all about OUTSIDE!!!

  • Ken Jun 9, 2013 Reply

    About one month ago I asked the kids what they wanted to do. Last year we went camping up and down the Oregon coast for over two weeks. The year before was similar. This year the kids (both of them) responded with wanting to do NOTHING! We are definitely looking forward to the end of school, gymnastics, dance, etc. We are just going to hang around this summer, play on the boat, splash in the pool, and just generally enjoy Kelowna. We live in a place where people come flocking to for holidays in the summer so we are just going to enjoy being a tourist in our own town! Thanks, Ken

    • Jeff Jun 11, 2013 Reply

      Hey Ken,

      Yes, go play outside — be a tourist in your own town — great tips!

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