It’s raining here in Cornwall but then it always rains in Cornwall. It’s not just a quick shower and then sunshine, oh no we have constant all day rain. I am sure we get more rain then we use to when I was a kid. Of course it’s probably just gearing up for the summer holidays in a few weeks time. The 6 weeks of the year when it is guaranteed to rain 24/7. The 6 weeks that can turn any sane adult into a nervous wreck. One of my reasons for going self employed was to spend summer holidays with the children, on a rainy day like today I feel its not one of my brightest ideas.
So what can I do with a teen and tween for 6 weeks? They are too old for trips to the park to go on the swings and play dough isn’t appropriate anymore. I asked my teen and her suggestions were
- Walk in the woods.
- Treasure hunt.
- Feeding the ducks. (seriously but you’re a teen?)
- Bike ride.
- Walking down to the beach as its healthy, saves on car parking and fuel.
She obviously is hoping for 6 weeks of unbroken sunshine.
For the past two summers I have made a couple of rules at the start of the holidays and this year will be no different.
Mention the word bored and they get given a carrier bag and have to fill it with junk/rubbish from their room for recycling/rubbish bin. Variations of the word bored also count.
I use the token system for the use of internet and computer games. They get allocated a bit extra to a normal week and then it’s up to them how and when they use up their tokens. Tokens are blank address cards with 1 hour or ½ hour written on them to the total I allow them to use the internet or computer games each week. So if I only want them loose on the internet for 10 hours in a week they are given 10 cards with 1 hour written on them. The tokens get dished out at the beginning of the week and they have to give a token back to me each time they use the internet or computer game. Once they have spent them there is no more till the reissue the following week. Bad behaviour can mean a token is taken away.
I also make it clear that are times that I do have to work. If I announce I am working they have to amuse themselves for the set time.
I also make a list of all the small things that need doing and stick it on the fridge. This can be things like getting the neighbours papers from the newsagent, sorting through the ‘sod it’ cupboard or anything else I think they can manage. If they, unprompted, do any or help with anything on the list they can have a reward like extra tokens or later bedtime. Painting the whole of the outside of the house has remand uncrossed off each year but I hold onto hope.
Reading it back I am starting to think I sound like I am a member of the Gestapo. Honestly I am not but having the rules does insure we all know where we stand.
We do visit the library at least once a week. Luckily, ours is literally around the corner which means I can borrow DVD’s and return them the next day and only get charged 50p.
I stock up on felt tip pens, paper and any craft things I can pick up cheaply. Even teens have been known to while away several hours doodling.
I also stock up on cooking ingredients and encourage them to make surprise me biscuits or cakes. These are nothing more than the basic recipe and then letting them loose on whatever flavourings they want. tip although spinach and pecan muffins sounded a good idea and did actually taste ok whilst warm, once cold they were disgusting.
Of course all of this can completely be thrown out the window if the sun shines. Then itâ€™s pack up a lunch and get outside.