Family,  Rants & Musings

3 Summer Rules for Our Summer Vacation

I don’t know about other families, but in our family, my kids think that summer vacation equals laziness and that they don’t have to do anything. I am unsure where they picked up on that idea, but I want to break them of that habit this summer. To help me break this habit, I have created rules and chores they must follow before being on electronics or hanging out with friends. These include getting ready and doing personal and other chores around the house.

They need more structure to be more productive this summer than in past summers. They are way past old enough to help me keep the house clean. They should have started helping me with the house years ago. I know you are probably asking why I have never had them help me around the house more, and the simple answer is I don’t know.

After school ended, I sat my children down, and we discussed what I was expecting of them this summer break. I explained to them that I would love to do some fun activities, but I can only do that if we keep the house somewhat clean. I also explained that I didn’t want my summer to be spent picking up after them.

Here are the new rules.


Usually, the kids like to be pretty slow in the mornings, which is fine with me to a degree. I don’t want it to be lunchtime before they get ready for the day. I am fine with them chilling for a little bit when they get up, but I would like them to get ready for the day shortly after that.

Getting ready for the day includes:

  • Having Breakfast
  • Getting Dressed (my kids usually shower at night, but if they don’t, this would include them showering in the morning).
  • Brushing Teeth
  • Doing Hair (my girls hate this one). I don’t care if they do their hair, just as long as it is brushed and looks like they fixed it.


I would like them to do their daily chores after they get ready. I have found out that if they don’t do their chores in the morning, they will never get the chores done. I have them do two different chores. There are the everyday chores that they are expected to get done every day. Then, there are the chores that can change daily or that I need help with.

  • Picking up their room
  • Making their bed
  • Putting dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Vacuuming their room if it needs it
  • Picking up the bathroom


After they complete their daily chores, I will usually have one or two chores I need them to complete around the house to help me out. These can include things like:

  • Loading/unloading dishwasher
  • Vacuuming
  • Dusting
  • Laundry
  • Picking up the living room/craft room
  • Cleaning out the car

This list of chores changes daily, depending on what I need help with. I try not to have too many chores because no one wants to spend their whole day cleaning. I don’t even want to do that as an adult, so I can’t expect my kids to clean all day. I hope they can finish this all in the morning, and we can play by lunchtime!

I would like all of their chores done before lunch. After lunch, they can have free time. We will go to the pool or the park. Sometimes, we have planned activities. This is why I would like them to get their chores done early. I like to have fun with my kids, but keeping the house in order is important to me. I try to balance them both.


I must confess I always start the summers well with all these rules and high expectations. I usually am very strict about it for about the first two weeks, and then I slowly get less and less strict as the summer goes on. I am hoping these rules are easy enough that we can last a little longer than a few weeks. Of course, it will last all summer in my perfect world, but I know that will never happen. I hope they pick up a few skills that will continue into the school year.

You must also keep in mind that every child is different. My son has ADHD and is very unorganized. He also gets distracted very easily. I can’t ask him to go clean his room. It will never get done. I have to ask him to do small tasks.

I can ask one of my daughters to go clean her room, and she will be able to get most of it cleaned on her own without my help. I usually help her with the last bit, like throwing the trash away or reminding her to vacuum.

My youngest does not like to clean at all. She will usually throw a tantrum for a while before she even starts cleaning. Once she realizes I won’t back down and she still has to clean, I usually have to be in the room to keep her on track.

I am sure your children have different personalities and need to be motivated differently, just as my children do. Keep that in mind when you are coming up with your own rules or chores.

Do you have rules like this for the summer? I hope some of these ideas help you stay a little sane this summer while your children are home. I would love to hear your ideas on what you have your children do in the summer to help around the house. Please leave me a comment. For now, Happy Summer!

I am a stay-at-home wife and mother to three amazing kids, including one who is in constant battles with ADHD and tactile defensiveness. I think we're the perfectly imperfect family! I am an introvert, and I recently discovered that I am a highly sensitive person. I love to be at home, and my favorite hobbies are reading, cooking, watching movies, puzzles, and playing games with my family. You can also find me online: Facebook - Pinterest

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