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How To Get The MOST Out Of Summer With Your Kids & Without The Pressure!
Episode 4829th June 2022 • The 6570 Family Project • Nellie Harden
00:00:00 00:28:12

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There is so much pressure around summertime! Make the most, cherish every moment, have no responsibility (while it piles up around you), and take it all in because it is fleeting.

Yes! Yes, it is. But, we can’t stop life, pause all responsibilities and just live at the pool for 3 months of every year. 

In this podcast, I want to strip the stress of summer fun and give you the real deal on a silver platter. The in’s and out’s of how to help your child use their brains and bodies over this educational siesta AND have room for some BIG fun and some space for you to get what you need done as well.

 It is all possible friends. Listen in!

About the Host:

Nellie Harden is a wife of 20+ years, mom to 4 teen/tween daughters, dreamer, adventurer, servant, multipreneur, forever student, and a devoted teacher, but her ride-or-die passion is her work as a Family Life Coach & Mentor. 

Coming from a career background in marine mammal sciences, behavioral work, and a host of big life experiences, both great and not some not so great, she decided that designing a life of purpose and freedom was how she and her husband, along with their 4 daughters, wanted to live. 

Her work and passions exist in the realms of family and parent mentorship because she believes that a family filled with creativity, fun, laughter, challenge, adventure, problem-solving, hugs, good food, and learning can not only change a person’s life but is the best chance at positively changing the world. 

She helps families build Self-Led Discipline™ & Leadership Into their homes, sets their children up for a wildly successful life on their terms, and elevates the family experience with big joy, palpable peace, and everyday growth!

With a lifelong passion and curiosity in thought, choice, behavior, and growth she has found incredible joy in helping families shift perspective, find answers, and a path forward.


(Nellie has been coaching families for over 10 years and has degrees in Biology, Animal Behavior and Psychology. ) 



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Nellie Harden:

Hello and welcome to the 6570 family project podcast. If you are a parent of a tween teen or somewhere on the way, this is exactly the place for you. This is the playground for parents who want to raise their kids with intention, strength and joy. Come and hear all the discussions, get all the tactics and have lots of laughs along the way. We will dive into the real challenges and raising kids today how to show up as parents and teach your kids how to show up as members of the family and individuals of the world. My name is Mellie Hardin, big city girl turn small town sipping iced tea on the front porch mama, who loves igniting transformation in the hearts and minds of families by helping them build self love, discipline and leadership that elevate the family experience, and sets the kids up with a rock solid foundation, they can launch their life on all before they ever leave home. This is the 6570 family project. Let's go Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the 6570 family project podcast you guys, we are just putting aside those power struggles. And we are finding the path to lead our young women and our young men if we have sons to toward the confidence, respect, wisdom, mental wellness, all the things that they need in order to prepare them for the world. And in that 6570 Guess what we have 18 times where we were evolved through this summer time that we have. And so I want to talk a little bit today, all about what this looks like and how we can make it a wonderful experience for us as parents them as kids us all together as a family and so forth. So summertime, it can either be a time of Fun Beach, hiking, summer jobs, friends hanging out busy schedules for kids, like all the things right. Or it can be a super lonely and isolated time that's defined by seeing others with friends doing all the things while you're at home. And no one you have no one to spend time with. Right? And, you know, I just remember when I was putting this message together in this podcast together for you guys. I remember this one summer, I wasn't a person that had a huge amount of friends or anything growing up. But when I was in elementary school, I want to say probably fifth grade, there was this cool kid, right? This cool girl that asked if she wanted to ask me if I wanted to hang out. And I was like, yeah, absolutely, of course we didn't have cars back then she lived for some reason a little further away from school. So we couldn't ride our bikes to each other's houses. But I just remember, we had this big window in the front of our house. And I sat there she we had made a plan and she and her mom were going to pick me up at I don't know, let's say 9am. And I got already I was so excited. And I sat at that window, you guys. I mean, it is such a sob story to think about. I sat at that window for hours, probably four hours, and four hours just waiting for her to pull up. And she never, ever did. And I honestly do not remember what happened after that. I don't remember what she said if I saw her again, I had met her at summer camp. So it wasn't a person that was in my general sphere, or my world in my day to day when we went back to school. But I just remember sitting there and just waiting and waiting and waiting. And I felt so lonely. I felt so deceived. I felt my worth was so down, write all the things. And I still see even though we're in the world of cell phones and all these things today,

Nellie Harden:

I still see this happening with a lot of kids. They serve with a lot of kids, I work with a lot of families, I have my own kids. And I see this type of thing happening all the time. And so I've lived in this world of being having super fun summers and summers where I was sitting staring out a window and I've seen it and it has happened with my own kids too. I mean FOMO fear of missing out. That is real, really, really real friends. And remember, our kids want to be seen and they want to be heard and they want to feel loved and they want to feel belonging and they want a purpose. And especially when we're getting into the second half of childhood we're talking eight plus right eight nine plus. When they're about eight they're getting ready and gearing up right the great transition from first half The second half is really starting. But nine plus we're in the second half of childhood there. And they start to look for that love and belonging, not just at home, but also out of the home. And when they don't find it, it can be really, really heartbreaking for for our kids and for us if you've ever experienced that, too. And for us to see our kids, oh my goodness to see our kids heartbroken, it is heartbreaking ourselves. So. So when we have today, cell phones at every turn, right, there's a double edged sword there, it can be great for keeping in communication and filling that connection gap between them and friends. But if they don't have a lot, or they're being left on read, or, you know, all these things that we're hearing today, or no one texted them, and they're constantly looking, you know, it's not, did they text me? Or did they text me yet? It is, Am I worthy yet? Am I worthy yet? Am I worthy yet, right? That's really what's happening in their heart and in their head. So there's a double edged sword with cell phones today, especially with our kids, and you got to you got to kind of keep that in mind. If you start to see them compulsively looking at it, just have that discussion, put it down, redirect, pivot the attention so they can see something else, right. And then I also want to just say that during this time, you have to have, we as parents have to have more intentional parenting than we do necessarily during the school year, right? Because it takes we're on break, but we also need something for them to do. So they don't just turn into couch potato slugs. But it's also, it's also really hard to just try and figure out, okay, so this is what we're doing, I'm busy. Let's figure out out something that we can do for you. Let's do something together. And then we'll move forward from there. So there's a caveat I want to put in here. And I want you to listen to me and listen to me hard. And if your kids are in the car and listening to this, I hope they can hear this too. You are not the Entertainment Committee. Okay? You are not the Entertainment Committee for your child. And if you feel that way, I totally understand. But try to take that pressure off of yourself. They do have to learn how to entertain themselves to learning how to be self sufficient and injured, entertain yourself, sit quietly in a room, do a puzzle, read color paint, create something go out for a walk or a run,

Nellie Harden:

there's so many things that they can do on their own in order to entertain and stimulate their own bodies and minds. And it's a really important trait for them to listen to. So if you are spoon feeding them entertainment all the time, that is just exacerbating the issue. Because then when you when you stop, they're like, Well, what are we going to do? Now you have to tell you have to give me something to do, right? i You're not giving me anything to do. I don't know what to do. And the minds just start spiraling. Right. And so giving them a little bit and having them have the lion's share majority of how to entertain themselves. And choices within that is really important. So I really do recommend in your summertime to still have some sort of routine going on. Yes, it's more flexible. Yes. They have a lot more choices in there. Yes, it's not as time consuming as the school schedule that they have during the year. But I want to share with you what we do here in our home, take it or leave it pick from it what you like and substitute things, whatever. But I just want to kind of give you a taste what I am talking about here. So for us and I have this written on a board in our kitchen of a dry erase board in our kitchen. So that there is no excuse everyone knows what is supposed to be done each and every day. So number one, get up, get dressed, brush your teeth and hair. Should I have to say this for teens and tweens? Maybe not but do I have to absolutely and you all know what I'm talking about. So don't even try to pretend right? They come down and their hair is Medusa like they're still wearing the clothes from yesterday. There's a strange smell in the air. The teeth are like whoa, okay, sister, brother, you need to go take care of that right? And so yes, get up get dressed and brush your teeth and air isn't first thing on the list. Clean your room in your bathroom, whatever they use, right clean your room and your bathroom. Make sure that it is not this Lion's Den of whatever is growing in there and and in there, and all of your dishes haven't migrated from the kitchen up to there. Right? And so those are the first two things on the list. And why is that? Well, a it prepares them for for a day if they get into this habit of my day is my night my night is my day I only get dressed if I have if I'm going to be entertained outside of the house right? Then everything just really starts blurring together instead of having you know, this punctuated This is my day, what can I do with this day? Or how can I you know, serve the world today? How can I enjoy the world today, all these different things, right. So if we have that punctuated, this is a day and this is night, then they can follow a rhythm a lot better, sleep will be better day times will be better awakeness, alertness will be better, right. And so making sure those are your first two things can be super, super useful. Okay, so get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, brush your hair, clean your room, clean your bathroom. Next is you know, they come down, they eat whatever and what have you. But during the day, we do 60 minutes of reading. So

Nellie Harden:

each one of them has 60 minutes, a full hour, now they can break it up if they want, that's totally up to them. Again, their choice, these are the things that need done, you figure out how it's going to get done. So 60 minutes of reading, now, my kids are still finishing up a few of their school books. And they're read on your own school books, which is totally fine. But after that they're like What do we read after that I say you can read what ever you want. Some of my kids, all of my kids actually are going into their, their a few grade levels, higher in math that they tested into for you know, we're we're making the transition from home school for the last seven years into a secondary school, not a secondary school, a traditional school. There we go. And so they are going there. My point is I bought them these books in order to help them get a bit of a, you know, head head start on how they're going to be using their brains differently for their new math that they're going into. So they can do that as part of their 60 minutes, they can go and read a novel that they want to read again, because they loved it so much when they read it in the past. They can if they want, they can tell me something and you know, maybe we'll get some new novels in the house. I don't know if our bookshelves can support them. But we will find a way right. And so, but 60 minutes of reading super important. Engage the brain, right twitten Speaking of engagement, 20 minutes of movement. And so it's really important that they're still intentionally moving their bodies, and they're going to give you the well I rode my bike to so and so's house. Well, I walked the dog. Well, I did this and they're like, well, that is awesome, that is so great. But we're really looking for that regular life. Plus, I want you to just get up and put on some, you know, workout movement close, and intentionally move for that 20 minutes. And the only thing you're doing for that 20 minutes is saying this is what my intention is to move and celebrate my body and all the things all the cool things that could do, right? So 20 minutes of movement. And then in our home, we do a Bible study every day. And so they have that to do every day, it takes maybe maybe five minutes, maybe 510 minutes, and then they can do more if they want, of course 20 minutes of music practice. Music practice is or music is something that, you know, during the school year, they're really practicing in my house, I have a drummer, a singer, a guitarist, and a pianist. And so in the, in the school year, they're working hard and doing that. And then if we take you know, two, three months off in the summer, then I think I said that right in the school year, they're practicing hard. And if we take all that time off in the summer, they're going to lose some of that, that skill and also just the habit of practicing that gift every day. So we want them to keep that. And then of course they have their chores that they do. Every child has a different chore. And then they have each child has a laundry and poop pickup day they are coincided so it just makes it easier, easier to remember on Monday, you know, one of them has brings down their laundry does their laundry and has to pick up on Tuesday it's a different one and so on and so forth. And so that's independence that is that practical wisdom that we are fostering there it is contribution to the home, right? They eat the food, use the water, use the electricity, make the messages and everything right and so that is their contribution to the team and helping the our home work or household work and then keeping the living space downstairs picked up again, one of those things like, I don't think I should have to put this on here, but I'm going to just because if I don't, I'm going to come down my kids cook a lot. And so I will come down to a kitchen that looks like the science lab of flubber. from Disney movie way, way long ago. So those are the things we do. So again, it is get up, get dressed, brush your teeth and hair, clean your room and the bathroom. 60 minutes of reading 20 minutes of movement, 20 minutes of music, your Bible, study your chore. If it's your laundry and pickup day, then do those, and then keep the living space downstairs all picked up, right. And then I have the reminder on there of two things rocks, which is our family rule. It is responsive, I'm sorry, respect, obedience, compassion, kindness, and self discipline, leadership, right self discipline. And then we have responsibilities before recreation. So

Nellie Harden:

all of these things need to be done. And then we, they can come up and get us. My husband and I are working and they come get us usually on our lunch and say, Okay, I've done all of these things were like, okay, you know, what did you do here? How was music? We just have that discussion, right? What do you what did you do in music? What did you practice? What are you reading, right? All these things. And then, and then recreation can start that is when they get to hang out with friends, or they get their phones or they get to, you know, open up their TV time and things like that. And they just get to have that free time. So we're really balancing the, okay, so we have a bunch of things that we still need to do, and we need to contribute. And we need to have our responsibilities, right. And then we get our recreation, and it is summer, summer, summer time. And we get to just have a whole bunch of fun and do whatever we want. And so it's still the balance of responsibility before recreation on a less intense, less, you know, school scale, but it's still that habit of having responsibility every day, and getting up and doing it. And if they don't move their brain and their body enough, you guys, both of them are going to turn into slugs. And you don't want that a child that has you know, a sluggish brain has sluggish thoughts and feelings and decisions and actions. And then it leads down a downward spiral spiral you don't want to go on right. So it's hard on parents to feel like, we need to constantly see our kids smiling and having fun and squeezing every last son because drop out of out of this break, right? There's a lot of pressure there. And you see these beautiful tiktoks or instagram videos of you know, kids dancing and Sunkist you know, ocean times and everything I want you to remember and something I always always keep in mind. There's no such thing. And I challenge you to think about this, there is no such thing as an entire day that went by in perfect harmony, right? And perfect Sunkist sunset dancing moments and all this. There are moments, beautiful, amazing moments. Tick tock reels are not 24 hours long, you guys, they are only 60 seconds or 90 seconds for a reason, for a reason. So don't feel the pressure that every single moment of every single day needs to be picture. Some are perfect. Just take the moments, take the beautiful moments and just keep stringing those moments together. Okay, you guys. All right. So, um, I want Oh, I wanted to say that when you are mom or dad to and you are working, and they're sitting around being quote, unquote, bored. That is a lot of pressure that feeds into that. And I just wanted you to know that if you're a working parent from home, if you're a working parent outside of the home, if you're a stay at home parent, I've literally done them all. And I see you I hear you, I understand the struggles and all of those. So I want to give you a really quick it's called just the three P's of summer, right and it is prep plan and play. Okay? So something that you can just get, get together three P's are easy to remember. And you can do this and remember it's about the moment strung together not the whole days. So in prep it is gather and brainstorm everyone together, right? A good tip. You want to gather the family and make a list of all the things you could do over the summer, right? There's still two months left of summer or there abouts depending on what your school schedule is. I would really really caution you against and would not recommend that you

Nellie Harden:

make a will do list right? Because a lot of things What's gonna happen? You never know when the next pivot is going to be around the corner. I guess that's a pun intended right there. A pivot is around the corner. But you get my point. You never know what's coming. So if you make a could do list, there's no promises. It's just this great big dream list, right? I trust me, you guys, I made that mistake one year. Oh, summer of 2012. It still makes me tired to think about it, you guys, we made a list of 100 things that we would do over the summer they it was a will do list. I was so stinking stressed that entire summer. I was like, Okay, now we got to do this. Okay, checking that off the list. Okay, we got to do this now. Oh, maybe we can do this on the way to this so that we can check off to for today, whoa, you know, all the things and so you guys, don't do that to yourself, been there lived it stressed it, don't do that to yourself. So make a could do lists. And it just gets everyone dreaming and excited for all the possibilities and everyone can contribute. Right? They do not have to be big things. They do not have to be costly things or cost anything. Just things that would brighten a summer day, and make sure that they're realistic. I mean, if you have a kid that's like, I want to go to Greece on Tuesday, you know, yeah, make it so it can actually happen. And so that is the prep part, right? You're just prepping and, and getting everything ready, getting the idea engine going, if you will, then each week, pick a day where you can plan you're like, Okay, I want to do, let's actually do these two, maybe these three of your super ambitious things this week. And then I just get everything that you need for them or make the plans that you need for them or or invite the people that you need to have for them, whatever that is. So you prepped you made all the ideas you're planning and you're just planning the two, maybe three things you're going to do that week, getting everything ready. The getting everything ready part super important. When I was teaching science, I can't tell you how many times an experiment came up. And I was like, I forgot to get those ingredients. I forgot to get those materials. And so we couldn't do it that day. We had to postpone it or what have you. So get do the plan and pick a day and do the and get the things ready, right and then just play. Just do it. No pressure, right? Just have so much fun. Make the moments, but they are just moments, not every single second of every single day. Okay, take some of that pressure off yourself. Some fun examples. You guys are family sleepovers so fun, right? A friend's sleepover, of course, spending the night with a grandparent, a friend and neighbor or relative that they normally don't. So they get to know someone on a different level. Going to the zoo, a park, a hike a beach walk, going into find shells or shark teeth, right? Walking in a stream in a forest, walking in a forest at all right? Eating ice cream for dinner going berry picking, swimming 100 laps in a pool, having a dance party building something, inventing something, making new food dishes that you've never tried before, trying some new fruits or veggies you've never tried before. Going to vegetable stands in fruit markets, serving in the community somehow doing a house project together, reading books, writing a book, making a new game and playing it. That's so fun. One of my daughters made a new game board game that is literally just for the hardened sisters. Only the four of them can play. It's very specific to them. But it was so fun. And they do that she made it kind of impossible to win. But that's okay. They still have fun playing it. And then just having all these ideas cooking up, right again, they don't have to cost anything. They don't have to be this big or deal, right. It's not like you're going on vacation every week. Some people do over the summer. Most people don't. So plan it. I'm sorry. prep it, plan it and play. You guys, you will have an incredible summer. take that pressure off. Just enjoy it right. Just enjoy. It is part of the 6570 journey, you guys. All right. Next week, I will be back with another episode. Remember you guys keep teaching them, keep laughing with them. Keep loving on them. And remember to just keep showing up with intention during the 6570 parenthood childhood experience. Because they absolutely need you. I'll see you next time guys.




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