A recent study by OnePoll found that parents hate summer break. More specifically, stressed out parents were pretty much over it by day 13.

We can’t even last two weeks, y’all.

But here’s what I find most annoying. Nearly 60 percent of the participants grew tired of trying to keep the kids busy.

Um, why is it on us to keep the kids busy again?

If the questionably long ‘70s boy hair can make a comeback, can’t ‘70s parenting? Kick them outside, lock the door, light up a Virginia Slim, crack open a Tab and flip on Guiding Light.


OK, fine. Leave out the smoking and drink iced tea. But do lock them outside. There’s a hose out there, they’ll be fine.

And if they jimmy a window open, mosey into your room, lay on your bed, sigh and say the two most famous last words — “I’m bored” — put a toilet brush in their hand and make them scrub the house top to bottom.

That’s how ‘70s moms got crap done. We can learn from these powerful women.

The study also revealed another interesting concern — parents felt stressed about too much screen time.

That, I get.

It’s tempting to just let them slip into the iPad abyss. They’re quiet. No one’s bugging us for another yogurt/crackers/milk/cereal/fruit snacks/juice/etc. You’re still in your robe reading a good book, but you look over and they’re just staring at these tiny black screens and it’s just so ...


It makes us feel out of control with a deep longing for them to climb trees and dig up worms and live life! And what is all this screen time doing to them? Are their brains OK? Has YouTube stolen their innocence? Has their growth been stunted? Will the screens force them to start wearing grandma readers by age 12?

Before we know it, we’ve stopped reading our book as our mind runs wild through all the possible deadly scenarios. Sure, the iPad has learning apps, but it’s really just a dark abyss filled with sexting! Bullying! Predators! Games where they can rack up $600 on our credit card buying chocolate candies with special powers! Oh God, did we forget to turn the parental control on?!

Now we have to cancel our credit cards!

No, no, no. Back to school they go. At least we know they’re learning. Or pretending to learn.

The point is, we don’t have to stress over entertaining them if they’re at school, so that’s the best place for them.


Or we can just let them enjoy their summer. Locked outside. Again ... there’s a hose out there. They’ll be fine.

Oh, heck, crack open that Tab, too. Modern parents need to lighten up a little.

Anna Lind Thomas is a humor writer and mom to daughters Lucy and Poppy and English bulldog Bruno, wife to Rob Thomas and founder of HaHas for HooHas. She writes for momaha.com.

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