Two summers ago, I made a rebellious decision. In a moment of weakness after a season of commuting to football practice and dance lessons four nights a week, I snapped. It was time to register the kids for the swim team, but I sat at the computer, paralyzed.
I couldn’t make myself do it. I knew I might seem like a bad mom. I knew my kids might lose some learning and study skills, but I decided not do anything structured for the entire summer. I longed for my kids to have what I had as a child: freedom. No swim team, no lessons, no summer reading program, nothing. What would happen, I wondered, if my children were allowed to choose what they wanted to do? All day long. Every day.
The results for our family were magical. At first, the kids were bored. They weren’t sure what to do. But after they adjusted to this new world of summer freedom, creativity blossomed. Friendships grew. Attitudes shifted. And most importantly, stress disappeared.
And the tradition continues.