The Retro Summer
With a lot options off the table for summer activities, Leslie and Ryan talk about what it takes to plan — or what not to plan — for the summer of 2020.
Audio Only Version
Set the table: Summer of 2020 and the cancellation of previously scheduled programming
Summer camp of every kind is cancelled. The kids of Gen Z (and whatever we end up calling the under 10’s) are facing their first summer of nothing (scheduled) to do. This while many parents will continue working from home because one, lots of us ended up liking that arrangement, and two, many of those camp programs doubled as childcare. So how is this all going to work?
Segment 1: Go Retro
“Plan” a summer of few plans, or at least daily ones. Save the planning the big event stuff, like a camping trip
Leave the kids’ days open…which of course does require a bit of advance planning to set the environment so they can be on their own. Decks of cards. Kids they are pre-approved to go roaming with as long as at least one of a specific parent group is notified
Teach them some basic self care skills: applying bug spray and sunscreen, making lunch, etc. Remember self care skills build too. (Ramen vs peanut butter and banana toast example)
Plan for some chore time
Help older kids plan and get jobs like dog walking
Segment 2: To schedule or not to schedule
- Could do a basic schedule, and the younger they are the more I would. Or you could do no kid schedule save checkoffs like certain chores.
If any parent is working from home, do set a work schedule for the parent, so kids know Mom is “at” work from 8-noon, so kids are responsible for themselves in that time. Then have a block where working parent answers the questions or helps with the craft project.
Segment 3: Network with other families
Everyone will be more comfortable with older having some outdoor freedoms if there is a group of kids
Those with younger kids, especially who are working from home, think about hiring a teen or experienced tween to help. You are still in the house. The teen can simply save you from having to read all the books or keeping your climber on the ground.
Closing: Final thoughts
Its the term for the adults still caring for children at home when their own parents care needs rise. It can be complicated, messy and a little uncomfortable. We are here to help navigate.
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