I just got an email from my kid's summer camp, telling me that pre-registration is open. It also said that some spots are already filled. Um, it's January. Really?
Seeing that email reminded me of a viral HuffPost blog I read not that long ago, titled, "10 Ways To Give Your Kids an Honest to Goodness 1970s Summer." It got me thinking that one day, my kids will be reading a Minority Report type of article on how awesome summers were when they were kids. I figured I'd give them a heads up with a real-time account of what life is really like in this decade. So, here are my ways to give your kids a genuine experience, in the 2010s:
1. Be a helicopter parent. Never let them out of your sight, and constantly say things like, "don't do that!" "don't touch that!" and "stay where you can see Mommy!" It helps to never be more than five feet behind the kids at any given time.
2. Halfway through, enroll them in camp. About three weeks into the helicopter mom summer, realize that keeping them home to have quality time with you was insane (certifiable), so you call the camp director and beg to let your kids attend for the rest of the summer. Offer to donate the sugar-free and gluten-free popsicles for the remainder of camp if they let your kids in.
3. Armor Up! Buckle your 100-pound 10-year-old into the booster seat, and head over to Target or the sporting goods store to buy helmets, elbow pads, knee guards, and a jock strap. Y'now, so that he can ride his bike around the block.
4. Have Strict Limits for Screen Time No more than 30 minutes a day of TV, and 15 of iPad. Spend the rest of your day with your nose in your iPhone, and make the kids call your name four or five times before you actually pay attention. Hey! Pinterest has some great recipes.
5. Forget to Make Lunch After spending all that time looking up recipes on Pinterest, you totally forgot to actually make something! So, pile up the kids in the car (your 8-year-old finally switched from the rear facing car seat last week!), and head on over to costco, where you tell the kids to "fill up on samples!" Repeat step 1. You can never be too sure.
6. Teach Them Respect and Discipline. Sure, some of your mommy friends might take away their kids cell phone or screen time as punishment, maybe even a spank on the bottom. But not you! As a matter of fact, you don't use the word punishment at all. Consequence is much more appropriate word for this day and age. Your family uses the talk it out approach, such as, "how do you think that made so-and-so feel when you took their toy/gaming device/ipad with more apps that Mommy has?"
7. Don't Let Them Play Outside. Not until they're slathered in 80 SPF sunscreen, they've taken their allergy pill, and you've combed the park for raccoon droppings or syringes. Dangers are lurking everywhere these days! You read it on the internet, so it has to be true.
8. Let Them Have Their First Sleepover First, call the other child's parents. Ask them:
- Do you have any guns in the house?
- Have any family members ever been convicted of a crime?
- What's your evacuation plan, in case of an emergency?
- Is your milk organic? The reason this needs to be asked is because you read on the Internet that the hormones in treated cows cause kids to go into puberty at an earlier age.
- Do you lock the door when you're having sex?
9. Extreme Coupon After watching a marathon of John and Kate Plus 8, make it your mission to clip coupons to save major dough this summer. That means you can clean out the craft store with all kinds of goodies for the kids, so that they're not begging you to have the iPad (to play on an art app).
10. Book Lots of Massages But only after the kids are asleep. During the day, you need to be constantly available to their every whim. It all comes back to step one.
Hmmm. Sounds like those 70s summers were way better. Pass the kool-aid, anyone??