Have a productive winter break."Mom! I'm bored!" Oh, I wish I had a dollar every time my kids uttered those words. I don't hear it so much anymore since they're teenagers, intent on lying low. And that's how they think they're going to spend the next five days of winter break. I hate to be the one to break it to them but they won't be sleeping until noon everyday or waiting until 3 p.m. to change out of their jammies. Nope. We've got work to do. Here are the five things we have planned (well, I have planned for them).
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1. Spring Cleaning. I know it's still technically winter but since it's been a mild one, it feels like spring is right around the corner. That and I'm sick of looking at the scuffmarks all over the baseboards. So one of the projects we will undertake this week is a deep cleaning of every room in the house. Remember, if your kids have never done this before you'll have to show them how to do it. I use the "High-Low approach" starting with things that are at eye level and working my way down. We'll throw on some music and an egg timer for added excitement.
2. Go through their wardrobe. Both of my kids have closets that need organizing and, as we know, a big part of organizing is weeding out what you're not wearing. That's even more important for kids who outgrow clothes overnight, it seems. So right after the spring cleaning we can move over the closet for a little organization.
3. Hanging/repair projects. I don't know about you but I have several items that need to be hung, rehung or straightened. We'll take an afternoon to hang mirrors, artwork, tapestries, and all the things that have made their way into this house but not to their final home, if you will. From there, it's on to the nagging repair projects that oftentimes get overlooked. Rewiring lamps, shoring up wobbly chairs and anything else that's been assigned to the "I'll-get-to-that-later" list.
4. Picking up a neighbor's yard. There is a house on my block, owned by an elderly, single woman. Her yard is kind of a mess, littered with old newspaper, trash, and dog poop. The kids and I will fill a couple big trash bags before calling it a day. This is an important one and they'll learn how good it feels when you help someone else.
5. Take a day trip. I can't let them do all this work without at least one day of reward, so how about a little day trip? I'm even going to let them plan it. Years ago that would have meant a day at the museum or the movies; now it means the mall. But hey, it's their day; they will have worked hard for it so I'll let them have it. And on this day, they can stay in their PJ's until 3 p.m.
This post was written by Rene Syler.
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