Do we stick to the rules the whole summer? No. At first we are strict but by August the rules are pretty loose and open to interpretation.
Then why post rules at all? Because think of how feral my kids would be if I started out lax. It would be unbrushed hair, jammies all day, breakfast at 11 a.m. and surly moods all around before the end of June.
This ensures that the little dears are up and fed by 7:15 a.m., letting us take advantage of cooler mornings for outside activities. It also means that the little rotters will be tired by 7:15 p.m., allowing mom and dad some grown up time.
2. 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. is quiet hour.
Interpretation: No screen time. No saying "mom" for one hour. Other than that, you can do what you want, where ever you want to in the house as long as you don't touch or talk to your sibling. This lets me caffeinate, cook dinner and head into the last part of the day with a bit of sanity.
3. No Screen Time before noon.
If the screen time starts first thing in the morning, the active part of our day bleeds away into one more show or one more level. Better to leave that junk for the heat of the day and not waste valuable outside morning time.
4. Screen Time must be earned.
Screen Time is not an inalienable right and must be earned half an hour at a time. See the Mommy Manifesto Screen Time Addendum 2012.
5. Each kid cooks dinner once a week.
Parental help is provided. This rule flopped the first year because I tried to have the kids working together to produce a meal. It has since evolved into a sibling separation tactic.
6. Go hiking once a week.
This should be fun this year because we can go hiking then pick up our CSA at Leroy Springs on Tuesdays.
7. Have dinner at the pool once a week.
Always fun because Dad gets to join us at the pool for an evening swim. Also, nothing makes a kid sleepier than a little chlorinated water in their eyes.
8. Three movie nights a week.
I have to state this right up front, otherwise there is constant begging for a movie night and arguing over what to watch. Movie night every night means that bedtimes runs away with us and my sanity erodes.
9. Try a new recipe once a week.
Debuting a new rule this year in honor of our first summer in a CSA. I'm hoping this keeps the kids involved in meal time and gets them to try more foods.
10. Have fun!
An over scheduled summer is like an over scheduled school year: No time for spontaneous play and plain old fun with friends.
The Mommy Manifesto Screen Time Addendum, 2012
Screen Time may be earned half an hour at a time by:
Reading a chapter book for half an hour.
Walking or running one mile. (Yes, the weekly hike earns screen time)
Writing a NEW story. Beginning, middle and end required, thank you very much.
Cleaning your room.
All activities can be repeated in the same day (except cleaning your room) to earn even more screen time. Please! Read for an hour or more, hike/walk/run a mile or more, write lots of stories. But a room may only be cleaned once in a day.
Screen time must be used the day it is earned. There are no roll over screen time minutes.
Family movie night does need to be earned.