my children have lost all motivation this month..my 10yr old DD and 6yr old DS don't seem to want to do anything. We live very remote, homeschool and have a small farm so there is always something to do...none of which eithor is interested...we've never had this problem before, we've fought them on conjugating verbs and gunking the chicken coop but when they won't even go sledding and do the fun stuff we become concerned. Any ideas? We have a no yelling or nagging rule and would love ideas on how to break this spell gently and encouraging along the way...
I'm no expert, but I think that everything comes in cycles, or waves (like waves of the ocean)...whether our energy or our interests. My thought is that the more you resist this "trough" period they seem to be in, the longer it will last. I say respect the lack of energy. Winter is tough. Rest, and do different things, like enjoying the downtime. (We are mostly unschoolers so we are pretty used to following our internal clock, our flow of interests and energy).
I call this (what I'm recommending) "steering into the skid", because that is what they recommend when your car skids on an icy road. They say that the abrupt turning away from the skid in an effort to get back on the road will likely be counterproductive, and that to gain control, you need to steer into the skid, in order to first gain control and then steer back onto the road. Maybe I am remembering that all wrong, but the point is that like with the Tao philosophy, go with the flow, and you'll likely come out of it sooner.
I hate winter, and I definitely change during this season.
You can't "encourage" someone out of a slump or discourage them when they need downtime to recharge their batteries. I'd say meet them "where they are" and maybe that will help them be finished with it sooner? Hope that helps. :-)
What about starting their own seeds? Here in a couple of weeks, it will totally be time for me to start seeds for my early plantings ( i live in ky). If you really do live in a an artic ferryland, and its not going to be planting time soon, there are some pretty cool flowers and peppers that grow indoors. Even a purple bell pepper that grows upside down! I know some kids who love to pick out some awesome crazy varities and grow them. Baker Creek has the best seeds, IMO
What about building an igloo (you mentioned sledding, so I assume there is snow)
It would require your assistance (you need a saw), but afterwards they would have an awesome place to hang out! Its like fort building for the wintertime.
What about making their own candy canes? These kind are great for shoving into an orange and using it as a straw.
What about letting them use a digital camera for a few hours to take pictures of things they think are cool, then putting their pics online (on fb or a blog or photobucket). Im all grown up and I still love to see pics that I took online.
What about having a summer day? I had a party last year where everyone wore their swimsuit, sunglasses. We layed on towels and listened to summer music (jimmy buffett, grease soundtrack, ect.)- all inside. We have a woodstove, so it really only took loading it up good and we were super warm. It seems like it would be a fun thing to do with just two people. I always want to pretend its summertime in the middle of the winter.
What about letting them dye your animals (if you have any white ones). My BFF and I used to dye her horses and dogs with kool aide and mayonaise. It was so fun. Its super easy and it comes out within a few washes.
Well, thats all Ive got. Its after midnight :).
I dont have kids old enough to really have to tell them to do something, but I was never allowed to sit around the house. My choices were either to find something to do, do something my mom suggested, or do a chore. I could always find ways to opt out of the chore ;)
ETA: I totally just realized that this was a gentle disipline thread, not a Country Living/Off the grid thread. So, I was thought you meant ideas for stuff to do when you said "any ideas?" Well, Im not going to erase it because you might like it :)