- We structure free time to help motivate our foster kids and to help them get the most out of their free time.
- We are also flexible so that we can all have a fun summer without stressing out too much about our summer structures.
- Structure Free Time
– Sleeping times need to be structured. We are required to ensure that our foster youth get 8 hours of sleep. So, when we have foster kids with jobs, or athletic events, we help them plan to get enough sleep.
-Breakfast times also get structured in our home.We have a general rule that our kitchen closes at 9 a.m. for breakfast. So, if you want to eat something yummy instead of a piece of toast or something quick, you’d better be up and fed by 9.
-Free time activities are great and fun, but they come after chores are done. This helps motivate our foster kids to try and do their chores relatively quickly. They don’t waste time playing around, because they want to have more time later to play and relax.
- Motivate your foster youth with fun stuff!!
-Find out what your foster kids enjoy doing and motivate them with that. For some of our kids it has been going to the pool. Others have wanted to be able to go to the skate park with their friends. What ever it is, let them work towards earning the fun stuff. Going to the movies, for teens, will get them to willingly do almost anything–even clean their bathroom.
-Have fun as a family. Play games, laser tag, go to the park, or just watch a movie together. But, make sure that you are making family time fun and rewarding.
- Be Flexible with Your Structure
-We’ve all be on vacation with that person who is way too structured. In the end no one has any fun because everyone is too stressed about the rigid structure. Be Flexible!!
-We have holidays. Usually these days fall on a holiday like the 4th of July. But, we also have other holidays. On these days we just relax. We skip out on some chores, or maybe study hour, and even sometimes roleplays. often times we have these holidays because we are camping, we’re out of town, or because our kids have been doing really well with the program.
-We don’t do holidays too often. Our program holidays are something that our foster kids look forward to. We try to use them sparingly. When we have done them a little too often it has been a struggle to get back to the structure.
Thanks so much for listening.
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Also, please feel free to share with us in the comment section below, how you structure your summertime schedule to help you be less stressed out when all of your kids are home all day!
Ben & Deb Pugh
The Foster Parents