"No more pencils no more books….” This little ditty is still commonly heard in classrooms around the country as the school year comes to its long-anticipated conclusion. 

The children race home in joy and with a sense of triumph. 

For weeks they have been relating to each other all of the great and marvelous plans they have mapped for every second of the much-awaited summer vacation. 

For days, each child has impressed his or her friends with richly illustrated illusions of how each and every day of the summer break will be filled with excitement and adventure. 

There will not even be one moment to spare. 

Each and every child anticipates the summer with such enthusiasm that it seems their plan-book is the size of the Manhattan phone directory. Their to-do list is so long you cannot imagine anyone accomplishing all the plans each child claims they’ve been waiting all year to have time to do. 

There is, however, one word that never appears in their lexicon or is even thought about. 

That word is boredom. 

No child ever thinks they will be bored. 

If you have the audacity to even ask a child if they’ll be bored during the summer, that youngster will stare at you with disbelieving eyes. The child will look at you as if you’re questioning one of the fundamental dogmas of our religion. 

Yet, notwithstanding the protestations of our young people, the reality of the situation (as is almost always the case in so many areas of our lives) is vastly different than our children’s expectations. 

The same child who for the last three weeks has been counting down the days, hours, and minutes until the final bell, the same child who had visions of endless hours of fun and excitement is the same child who is now… bored. 

The first day of summer vacation, the child wakes up a little later, eats some breakfast, and within 15 minutes of their first day of fun they stand before their mother with those famous two words parents have been hearing from time immemorial, “I’m bored!” 

And now we, as parents, are in a quandary: how do we entertain, educate, and simply parent our children when the long dog days of summer have arrived? 

We are all faced with choices — we can engage our child or we can detach ourselves from the lives of our children. 

As with any aspect of our lives, we and we alone are the ones who will make the decisions and live with the consequences. 

Do we plop our child in front of a DVD player and allow them to wallow in a state of spiritual stagnation? 

Or do we attempt to actively engage them and involve them in non-conventional ways that the summer break facilitates? 

The choices are difficult and obviously each parent has to find the correct balance between positive interaction with their child and the responsibilities they have to other aspects of their lives. 

Understandably, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but there’s one piece of advice I can add to the discussion, and I consider it sage advice as it came directly from the mouth of a child. 

One day, a few years ago, my youngest child Aviva and I were stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. In a state of exasperation, I announced, “We’re going to be so delayed now. We’ll be stuck in this car for at least another hour! 

Aviva just looked at me and calmly and happily said, “Ta, that’s okay, this way we get to spend more time together.”