Oklahoma City family fun is here through it all.
I love summer. I do. I wrote recently about why this season, with its sunshine and possibilities, is a perfect time to reconnect, try something different and enjoy a great time together.
Not having a routine regulated by outside schedules, though, presents a different set of challenges.
"Can I play on the iPad?" is a question I field all day long. My sons never seem to tire of its limited variety and establishing the iPad's use as a privilege to be earned is a major issue at our house. I will not have a game console for that very reason; I feel that there's just more to life. Even with a timer. Even with educational games. I've heard every argument.
It's not part of what we do.
Taking a break from routine can be important, especially when children are as young as Sam, 8, and Isaac, 3. They appreciate some down time but that can't mean all iPad all day long or taking leave of limits.There are more activities to do than time to do them so a console isn't an option in my home. The iPad, along with TV or streamed videos, is more than enough.
Long days ease into long nights too as we wait for the sun to go down and bedtime tends to get pushed, later and later. It's summer and the rules have changed. We need variety, ideas. I don't believe in boredom but "The Price is Right" cannot be a part of the background noise around here from June through August.
The rules are different at every house; it's great to have a peer group with whom to compare notes. We're all raising children in the golden age of silver screens and I know I'm not the only parent trying to figure it out. Other families have experiences to share, viewpoints that differ but enlighten.
It's all about balance, veteran parents tell me. Having a place to talk with others who have already met the same challenges is the purpose of MetroFamily's new Ages & Stages closed Facebook groups. There are groups for parents of babies and preschoolers, elementary school students and teens and tweens. That's my own screen time, social and seeking information, the "it takes a village" approach.
Being aware of which resources are in our area is key and having a peer group with whom to interact is helpful too, as we all ask questions of each other, share solutions and talk about what has worked in our own households.
Nothing stays the same for long. The weekend is coming and we'll go to our local library to participate in the Summer Reading Program. Science Museum Oklahoma is opening its new CurioCity exhibit on Sunday, another way to celebrate Father's Day together. Click here for MetroFamily's Father's Day Guide.
Activities from 100 Days of Summer Fun also help change things up, with a list that assigns one fun activity for each day.
Summer camp will start next week and Sam will have a different routine for a time. Before we know it, school will be back in session and I'll wish to have the summer back when Sam was 8 and Isaac was 3 and my main concern was screen time because there is, in fact, so much more to life.
Our community will be here through and it all, with advice, ways and means. That backdrop, at least, isn't going away any time soon and I'm glad.