More Cheerful Chores * Fewer Screens * More Fun

5 Ways Parents Can Have a More Fun, More Relaxing Summer

I post this article on the use of screens during summer every June, right when school’s out and parents need it most. Here’s to a fun, relaxing summer for your whole family!

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Carol kicked off her work shoes and put them away in the front hall closet. “Hi, kids; I’m home!” She called out.

It’d been an extremely long work day for Carol, and the commute home had been long and sweaty due to heavy road construction and her car air conditioning being out. All she wanted to do was get her shoes off and collapse.

When she walked into the kitchen, though, she gasped.

The kitchen looked as though someone had dirtied every dish and pan and countertop, and then run out in a panic.

In the distance she could hear machine gun fire.

The machine gun fire was coming from the TV in her family room, where her teens lounged on leather furniture, still in the t-shirts and sweatpants they’d slept in the night before. One stared, unmoving, at a movie on TV, one sat engrossed in Netflix on an iPad with headphones; the oldest was hunting and shooting camouflage-clad villains in a warehouse on a computer screen in the corner.

“Have you guys been in here like this the entire day??” She asked.

Many parents today worry about kids’ screen use during summer vacation.

But what’s a parent to do? It takes too much energy to constantly suggest: “Why don’t you go outside for a while?” Parents already tired from work don’t want to start battles with teens who might become sullen, snarly, and disrespectful when asked to disconnect.

How can parents get teens to do more chores, spend less time on screens, and have more of the kind of summer fun that satisfies most deeply?

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7 Criteria To Decide: Should Your Healthy 20-Something Kids Live With You?

So, your 20-something daughter wants to live at home in her childhood bedroom. Should you happily say yes and make a plate of warm cookies to welcome her back?

Or could this put you (and your child) in a bad spot?

I’ve written in a previous post about the horror of loving mothers and fathers who sacrifice for years only to find themselves in their 50’s, stressed and anxious over unkempt twenty-something children still living in their childhood bedrooms. Many of these parents despair over dependent 20-somethings sleeping in past noon, lounging afternoons away on parents’ couches, helping themselves to food from their parents’ refrigerators, and then staying up long hours into each night gazing into the flickering blue screens of online video games. 

You know that there are hundreds of thousands of parents living this nightmare every day, right?

What can you do to avoid becoming that parent?

1. Is your child enrolled in (and making successful progress through) a full-time academic program?

When your child is in elementary and middle school — or as soon as possible after that — start telling your children this important sentence: “Honey, we will be happy to provide free room and board to you after your high school graduation, as long as you’re enrolled in (and making successful progress through) a full-time academic or job-training program.”

2. If your child is still in high school, clearly lay out the plan for the summer after high school graduation.

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Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH!

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Purchase LAUNCH (or just look over its Amazon reviews) here.

There’s been an overwhelming, excited response to LAUNCH since it released on January 4th, 2017. Parent response to this book has already exceeded anything I ever thought possible. Whenever there’s a lot of excitement there are also a lot of questions, so here are the top 9 questions parents are asking me — along with my answers.

1. “Our son is only in middle school. Surely we don’t need to be thinking about college yet!”

Let me be blunt here. If you wait until your son’s in 11th grade to start thinking about college, 75% of the best ideas for getting him through college debt-free will be gone.

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