Redeeming the Chaos
10 Tips To Survive (and Thrive) this Summer With Your Boys – RTC 49
Hey Mommas! Summer is here! How are you feeling? Excited? Overwhelmed? If your kids are in school, you likely only have a few days left until the chaos descends upon your household. So, what will you do to maintain your sanity this summer? How will you thrive this summer with your boys? I have a list of 10 tips to help you survive and THRIVE this summer with your house full of boys. Stay tuned!
Welcome to episode 49 of Redeeming the Chaos.
I’m your host, Laurie Christine. I’m a mom of 4 boys, an author, a Bible teacher, and a certified Biblical Parenting Coach.
This is the podcast for moms who may feel a bit frazzled and overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising boys. If you want your boys to grow up to be strong, courageous young men who are fully committed to following Jesus, this show is for you.
In all the chaos of raising boys, we recognize that Christ is the only who can redeem the chaos in our world, our homes, and our own hearts.
I know that I can’t do this alone. I desperately need God to give me strength every step of this journey.
But guess what… I also need YOU.
I’d love for you to join me on this wild, wonderful, chaotic adventure of raising courageous boys and connecting their hearts to Christ.
10 Tips to Survive and Thrive this Summer with Your Boys
If you want to survive and thrive this summer with a house full of boys, it is all about expectations. Your kids likely have different expectations for what their summer will look like than you do! So start out the summer with a family meeting to discuss what your expectations are, so that everyone will be on the same page.
And while it’s important to communicate your own expectations with your boys, you also need to hold those expectations lightly. Be flexible. Don’t worry if things don’t go exactly as you had planned. Learn to laugh at yourself and enjoy the young men God has given you.
But hey, it doesn’t hurt to at least start with a plan, right? Here are 10 tips to help you survive and thrive this summer.
Tip #1: Create a Schedule
I would recommend creating a daily schedule, as well as a weekly or monthly calendar. Post both in a prominent place that your kids can see and refer to throughout the day.
For the monthly calendar, include any extra activities that aren’t in a typical day… going to the pool, going on vacation, going to Grandma’s house, etc.
The daily schedule will be the same every day, except for the special days when your’e going on vacation or you will be away from home.
Next, decide what you want to include in your daily schedule. This doesn’t have to be super rigid, and you don’t have to plan out every minute of the day, but it’s helpful to set the expectations at the beginning of the summer for what you want to accomplish in a day.
Here are some suggestions of things you may want to include in your schedule. You certainly do not have to include all these things! Pick and choose what works best for your family.
- Family devotions
- Reading Time – personal or family read-alouds
- Breakfast as a family?
- TV time – when, how much? Mandatory outside time
- Honor jobs
- Personal Bible reading
- General Clean-up
Below is an example of our daily routine. (Super easy to make for free on Canva.com!)
Tip #2: Set expectations for technology this summer with your boys
I know most of my kids would play video games or watch TV all day if I let them. Which of course, I do not. But it’s important to set expectations ahead of time to avoid meltdowns and arguments later on.
Here are some questions to think about when setting guidelines for technology:
- When, where, and how much time can they be on a device?
- If everyone’s watching TV together, who gets to pick the show? Maybe set up a schedule.
- Do you want to set any “screen free” days as a family?
- Plan family movie nights where you can all watch something and discuss it together. Analyzing a movie is a great way to help your kids think critically about what they’ve seen, and whether or not the message of the movie lines up with your own beliefs and biblical worldview.
- Once you’ve decided on technology guidelines, consider creating a technology contract that all the kids have to sign. If they choose not to sign it, then they don’t get the privilege of using the technology. It’s that simple.
What if they put up a fight?
Spoiler Alert: They will.
Don’t be surprised if you get push back from your kids when trying to set up schedules and guidelines for your summer. Here are a few quick tips for what to do if your kids push back:
- Don’t take it personally.
- Remember, you are the parent and it’s your job to set rules and regulations in your household in the best interest of your children.
- Your job is not to make your kids happy. It’s your job to raise them to be civilized adults who don’t sit in front of the TV all day.
- Setting expectations at the beginning of the summer will help things go more smoothly.
- Stand your ground. Don’t yell and get upset, but be firm in your decision.
- By setting guidelines and expectations, you are training your kids to live within boundaries. It’s a skill they’ll have to use for the rest of their lives. If your son has a hard time accepting “No” as an answer, you might need to say “no” more often, so he learns the correct way to respond when he doesn’t get his own way.
Okay, back to our list of tips:
Tip #3: Spend time in God’s Word this Summer with Your Boys
We’ve talked on the show before about the importance of spending time in God’s word, both as a family as well as personally. As moms, if we are not filled with the Spirit of God, through the Word of God, then we will become dry, empty vessels with nothing left to give to our children.
So, make a plan to spend time in God’s word. I have several recommendations of where to start for your personal time with God…
- The Bible Recap
- Thirsty: 12 Weeks of Drinking Deeply from God’s Word – by Hannah C. Hall. I recently interviewed Hannah for the show, so keep an eye out for an upcoming episode that’s all about drinking deeply of Christ. (affiliate link)
For family devotions, I would recommend that you join me for the Family Fruit Challenge this summer. We hosted this challenge last summer as well, and got a lot of positive responses. To find out more about the Family Fruit Challenge, just go to www.FamilyFruitChallenge.com to sign up.
What’s Included in the Family Fruit Challenge?
- A short, weekly devotional about one of the fruits of the Spirit, contributed by 9 different guest writers (10 weeks total, including intro), delivered straight to your inbox!
- Printable memory verse cards about the fruit of the week.
- Printable “Fruit” cards to display in your home.
- Links to activities, songs, games, and crafts that will help your children learn about the fruit of the week.
- Ideas to help motivate your kids to put into practice what they’ve learned.
- Oh, and by the way, it’s totally FREE!
When you sign up for the challenge, you’ll receive a reminder email every Monday morning for 10 weeks. The email will include a link to the blog post for the week where you’ll find the devotional, printable verse cards and activities!
No matter when you sign up, you’ll always start with Week 1 and continue through week 10.
To sign up for the challenge, go to FamilyFruitChallenge.com. Feel free to tell your friends!
One of the other things I want to do as a family this summer is to watch the show The Chosen, the TV series about the life of Jesus. I’ve heard so many great things about it, and it’s been on my list of things I want to watch for a long time now. There are 15 episodes in Season 1, I think this would be a great show to watch once or twice a week throughout the summer as a family.
Granted, you need to decide if your kids are at the right ages to watch The Chosen. My boys are 6, 7, 10 and 11 right now.
Tip #4: Meal Planning
I will be the first to admit that I am not great at meal planning. A typical day for me looks like… staring at the freezer around 5:00 p.m., grabbing an unidentified hunk of meat, and trying to defrost it in the fastest way possible. Which has often involved breaking the tip off of one of my paring knives, as I try to chop a frozen hunk of chicken. When my kids ask what we’re having for dinner, I have to tell them that I won’t know until it’s finished. “Chicken Miscellaneous” is what we often call it.
However, I have found that my life is much less stressful when I actually DO take the time to plan ahead for meals. And actually stick with the schedule. Some of the benefits of meal planning include:
- Your kitchen knives are all intact–with the point and everything!
- Your kids can prepare themselves mentally for whatever you’re having for dinner.
- Dinner might actually get onto the table before 7:30 p.m. (which then allows you to get the kids in bed sooner, which then allows you to drink a glass of wine with your hubby and watch your favorite show on Hulu).
- You won’t have to send your hubby out to the grocery store at the last minute for a jar of salsa.
- Oh, the benefits are endless.