The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Summer Resolutions

Any of you parents sick of the “I’m BORED” conversations yet?  I came up with the idea of Summer Resolutions and figured it might help some of you all.  So far it’s helping – it hasn’t completely eradicated the boredom, but definitely reduced it.

From the end of June through August 31st, we challenged the kids to learn a new skill or hobby of their choice.  The hope is that they would start an interest in something that they can do the rest of their lives as a career or hobby.  They have to work on it for two hours a week (excluding when they’re at camp) without any prodding or reminders from us and track their own progress.  At the end of the summer, if they kept it up, they’ll get some kind of award.

Of course, the potential of learning a life skill – as well as self-starting and perseverance – is enough of a prize.  But any parent will tell you that argument doesn’t really work with kids.  (As soon as that parent stops laughing at the suggestion.)

As expected, this was met with some resistance.  I countered that resistance by pointing out that those two hours translates to less than 20 minutes a day.  And that they just watched a 30-minute episode of SpongeBob for the 437th time. AFTER spending 2 hours on Instagram, YouTube and Minecraft.

We didn’t have many rules around what they could choose. The first is that it couldn’t be something that they’re already doing, like flute or piano.  Also, they can’t take up jogging and have the running they do at lacrosse camp count towards their goal.  Finally, whatever they chose couldn’t result in mom or dad schlepping them across town every day.

To help them along, we gave them some suggestions:

– golf

– tennis

– cycling

– photography

– guitar

– reading (two books a week)

– volunteer work

It doesn’t need to be formal lessons or anything like that, though there are Groupons for online photography or guitar lessons that are pretty cheap.   Even if they just went out and messed around with their chosen activity, they’d still be doing something somewhat productive.  Anything but this  –

 

wgal.com

wgal.com

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Look familiar?

We talked this through with them and they were pretty psyched up about it. Even now, a couple weeks later, interest is still high. Of course, they still complain about being bored. Just less often.

One of the girls initially decided on learning Mandarin but, after checking out an online lesson, quickly switched to photography.  Our son chose bicycling with a goal of riding his new bike 100 miles by end of summer.  As for our other daughter…. Stay tuned.

How do you fight summer boredom? What would your summer resolution be?

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

15 comments on “Summer Resolutions

  1. foxress
    July 7, 2014

    Wonderful idea. You never know what interests will stick. Hobbies make life more interesting.

  2. elizabeth
    July 7, 2014

    I love the idea of summer resolutions/projects, although growing up I was often involved in summer reading groups and my mom made me do math workbooks, I was granted plenty of leeway to ride my bike and swim and the like, but I was fortunate to live in a neighborhood that was well-suited to bike-riding and that my mom really wanted a pool (an above-ground one at that) so we could all splash around in quiet.

    I’m just trying to make sure I take as many food pictures as I can for blog fodder well after the good light has gone during dinnertime. 🙂

  3. the drunken cyclist
    July 8, 2014

    Great idea! I hope I remember it!

  4. mrsugarbears
    July 8, 2014

    I don’t have children of my own, but I’m a great aunt. 🙂 My sister and her husband have been really diligent with their kiddos. They’re too young to do this, but they are still keeping their Spanish up with weekly classes and limited tv.
    I like to have “Feelin’ it Friday’s” where if I’m not out of town, I invite a couple friends to do a craft or cook or go to a class with me. This was a fantastic idea. How’s the garden?

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 8, 2014

      Great idea for Fridays.. Garden is great, but overdid it a little. Up to our ears on spinach basil and arugula. Think I’m going to be eating this year’s tomatoes cukes and eggplants until 2017. Good problem to have.

      • mrsugarbears
        July 8, 2014

        Haha. I know what you mean. I was a little ambitious with my pepper planting, with only two of us in the house…Although, I’m loving adding something from the garden to my dinners at night. I still am truly in awe of yours. I showed the hubs your blog post on it and he just looked at me and said, “That’s what I was talking about” needless to say, he was underimpressed with my building skills. On the other hand, he’s enjoying the rewards of it. 🙂

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      July 8, 2014

      How’s urs?

  5. the winegetter
    July 9, 2014

    You know how I fight my summer boredom, so I won’t elaborate further here…:) Also: Those overachiever Asian-tight German parents scare me…:p

  6. Bunny Eats Design
    July 10, 2014

    Photography is a skill that they’ll use forever. Learning a new language is very commendable. There are lots of fun language apps that you can download these days with easy 5-10 minute lessons that can be done a few times a week. Check out “Duolingo” someone is still interested.

  7. Pingback: Introducing the Mini Hedonist | The Food and Wine Hedonist

  8. Max D.
    July 22, 2014

    My summer resolutions are practical. Paint at least two bedrooms, finally put to use that pile of mulch next to the driveway that we had delivered two summers ago, and read one book recommended by each of our kids. As for the kids, I actually told them about this post, and they are very intrigued. Of course, it’s just about late July now, so like everything in our lives, it might have to be a series of half-assed resolutions.

    Seriously, we did have a very good dinner conversation about this, so thanks for sharing.

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This entry was posted on July 7, 2014 by in Stuff and tagged , , , , , .
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