Ahhh summer. It seems like only a couple weeks ago I was complaining about the lacklustre performance of the summer sun. Oh right, that was a couple weeks ago.
Which brings me to my first habit - an all-important value you can harp on this summer as the days stretch out and your kids find new reasons to annoy you.
We all get complacent. We all get lazy. We all get a little stale.
These unenviable traits multiply big-time in the summer when kids are forced to spend a lot of time figuring out ways to entertain themselves. And what happens when that drive to entertain oneself fizzles out like the bubbles on the bottom of a glass of vodka and soda water?
Boredom. Kids who are bored like to complain. Scratch that, no one likes to complain, but it happens.
And complaining just gets in the way.
Don’t complain, take action. Do something. Anything.
Know what your kids could do if they’re bored and complaining about having nothing to do?
Easy for me to say from here, right?
They should be helping out. It’s probably pretty normal for most of your houses to suffer some significant damage during the summer - damage that’s usually reserved for the classroom.
Well, you’re not a teacher, but that doesn’t mean you can’t crack the whip and build some helpful culture into your kids this summer.
Their teachers and hockey coaches will thank you for it once September rolls around.
One thing I’ve noticed talking with parents and kids in the summer is that it can be difficult to expand outside your immediate social community.
In other words, tell your kids to get out of the house and hang out with some new people.
It’s difficult for a lot of kids - man, it’s difficult for a lot of adults! I spend every winter in a hockey rink day and night, but I’ve made a conscious effort to get away and spend time with important people this summer, and I’m glad for it.
Call some new friends. Try some new things. Go to new places.
Yesterday I went paddle boarding for the first time in my life.
It was terrifying.
Not because I’m afraid anything will suddenly attack me from the mysterious watery depths of the ocean or anything like that, but mostly because I’ve never done it.
Also the attack thing.
A lot of young athletes are afraid to try new things because there’s a chance - usually a good chance - they’ll be terrible at it. Have you ever seen a 15 year-old hockey player try to shoot a 3 pointer? Or a tennis player try a butterfly stroke?
Or a hockey coach try to stand on a quivering plank of plastic above a trillion gallons of deep black water?
It’s hilarious. Probably.
But the sense of accomplishment you get after you experience success is always worth the initial trepidation.
There’s also the added bonus of just picking up a new skill. We’ve all heard the arguments against specializing in a single sport. During the hockey season or the soccer season or the winter tennis season it can be difficult to do other things.
But in the summer?
The summer is time to try new things. Summer is time to enjoy your freedom.
Summer is time to be a kid.