Blog  /  Grace, Parenting  /  6 Common Summer Complaints and How to Respond

As a former teacher, I learned that any time you have children in the equation, having a contingency plan and intentional response helped navigate the many different moods, feelings and opinions you may encounter about any given situation. As a parent, Summer seemed to be riddled with many opportunities to activate said plan. Here’s how to respond to the 6 most common Summer blunders:

 

“I’m bored.”

“I’m sometimes bored, too, so let’s find something we can to do make someone else happy and then we’ll be happy, too!”

Maybe writing someone a note, baking something to share with a neighbor, asking someone over who is also bored, or playing games – whether inside or outside – with siblings and/or friends.

 

“I don’t want to run errands with you today.”

“I don’t always like to run errands, either, so how about if this week we decide on a special treat after we’re done?”

Ice cream, going to the pool, etc. An incentive is always a winner. Choose something that will motive them! We didn’t do it all the time, but we did it enough to make the kids buy into some things that weren’t their favorite things…or ours!

 

“Do we have to do chores?”

“Yes, we all have to do chores, so let’s get them done by (name the time) and then you/we can do this (name an activity they can do or place you can go).”

Choose fun worthwhile activities/places to go that will be good motivators. Consider making them earn their screen time. Use that as an incentive to get things done. Let kids choose the chores they will help with from a list of things needed to be done. With their buy in, they are more likely to do it without complaining.

 

“I have nothing to do.”

“No problem. Do you want to do a chore, write a letter to a missionary, read a book, or help me in the kitchen?” After they respond you might say, “Well, then find something more fun to do on your own or with your siblings!”

Maybe they’ll choose one of your suggestions, and that would be really nice, but if not, let them begin to find things to do. That is a skill that will benefit them in all their years to come! I made it a point for my children to learn to play alone.

 

“I just want to sleep in.”

“I love that idea! Let’s all choose a day that we can all sleep in!”

And then go on with your usual day after you all get to sleep in. Let it be their great idea- and why not go with it? They just need to know the day proceeds as usual and expected. The fun thing is to see if they want to continue doing what they suggested!

 

“Can’t I just go hang out with my friends?”

“Why don’t you invite your friend with us? We’d love to have them join us!”

At certain ages, having a friend along can make it so much nicer for the child and parent. We made sure our budget included extra people coming along with us as well as having extra pizza and pop at home so we could have extra kids along any time. We wanted our house to be the “place” to hang out.

 

Finding ways to get your kids involved and having a say in the process is what will help keep these complaints at bay this Summer. Ask your kids for ideas, listen to them, they are full of great ideas!

Joe and Cindi Ferrini

Joe and Cindi have been married since 1979, live in Cleveland, OH, have 3 grown children (one with special needs), grandchildren, and enjoy speaking and writing together on topics related to marriage and family (FAMILYLIFE’S “WEEKEND TO REMEMBER Get-A-Ways” as well as for organizations pertaining to special needs), leadership, and time/life management. Joe has practiced dentistry since 1978; Cindi enjoys writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), speaking, radio, and social media. Together they have written articles and blogs for Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, http://specialneedsparenting.net and here at FamilyMatters, and authored UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: When Special Needs Change our Course. They’d love to connect with you at: www.joeferrini.com or www.cindiferrini.com

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