I'm new to the forum. I am the father of a 10-year old boy. He is the love of our lives and while he is our only child, we've been trying for the last three years to conceive as we would love for him to have a sibling to share us with (and for us to share with him), but that's for another forum.
I am writing here because we have suddenly found that since our situation for the last three years has changed, our son's needs are also now much different and we don't know how to help him or ourselves.
Three years ago, with the economic downturn, my wife was laid off from her job as a retail buyer. While claiming the unemployment benefits she had earned over the years, she embraced her time at home with our son and her new role as a SAHM and housewife. While his summers home from school were fairly uneventful, at least she was home with him and was able to tend to his needs.
Last August, she finally found work and everything seemed to be great. I work in education and she was able to find a job in the same office, in our purchasing department. As an added bonus, my son's school is less than a block away from the office so we have one commute.
Since we were now both working and school had ended, my son stays with his grandparents and he is miserable. He loves his grandparents dearly, but his days are long with nothing to do but watch television and be idle. I took the past week off to hang out with him and we did things from play video games to watching a baseball game and we went to a waterpark. As this past week ended, he voiced to his mother that he wished he was in school again because he's so bored at his grandparents' house. It's heartbreaking to hear.
His grandparents are older and while they engage him as best they can, they aren't as mobile as they once were (he's very athletic). They've taken him to the movies and to the mall, but most of the time they're home.
My wife is in tears because she'd love to just leave the job (which she really just took because we need the extra income) to be a SAHM again, but we live in the Bay Area of California and living here doesn't come cheap.
We thought about putting him in summer school and summer camps however, he does karate in the evenings and he's training for his black belt which he should be getting in October. That karate training takes a lot out of him. We end up going home after his training which ends up being about 8:30. That only gives us time for a quick dinner and a little catch-up time with each other.
Luckily he's been able to spend a week with my sister who is a school teacher and has the summer off. He's got 4 boy cousins ages ranging from 12 to 3 to hang with there, but they live a hour away, so it hasn't been a whole-summer kind of thing. He has 2 older girl cousins on my wife's side that are willing to hang out with him, 1 is 17 the other is 15. They love him to pieces. The 15 year old and him used to be thick as thieves. Now she's interested in boys and less interested in him. The 17 year old has aged out of his interests.
I'd love any help and advice from the forum as far as what you do for a bored child that's had to hang with grandma and grandpa for the summer. I'm at the point where I'm grasping at straws as far as how to keep him engaged in things and not bored while at the grandparents' house.
I've already made plans for when we get home. We'll be teaching him how to cook and do laundry as well as other fun games and movie nights to keep him busy and engaged at home instead of parked for more hours in front of the tv.