Summertime, Together Time, and Filling Buckets…Oh My!

Summertime is together time!  The kids are out of school and home for three months. This season can generate mixed feelings for moms. There’s the excitement or dreams of pool days and picnics, stargazing in the backyard, and s’mores around a campfire. But as many a mom knows, we will inevitably hear the cries of “I’m bored!” and “there’s nothing to do around here!” Carrie Hoffman, a great friend and life coach shares some thoughts on summertime and together time and how we might make the most of them! For those who scroll fast, don’t miss the numerous links for free resources!

Summer brings a lot more together time into our days. Siblings who are used to being away from each other for the bulk of each day are suddenly together from sun up to sun down. Personality differences that might be minor during the school year can feel highlighted over the summer days of 24/7 togetherness.

This is one real-life example of how understanding and appreciating personality differences can have a huge impact on the peace within your home. Specifically, understanding the emotional needs of each personality helps us to prevent trouble before it starts.

Filling the Personalities’ Buckets

Even young kids understand the concept of “bucket-filling.” This is a kid-friendly way to help them understand and meet the emotional needs of those around them. And all of us, big or small, function better when our buckets are full! Depending on which personalities you have in your family, help your kids understand the following:

Playful Sanguines need attention, acceptance “as is”, affection and approval. To fill a Sanguine’s bucket, you can give them your undivided attention while they tell you a detailed, animated story; give them a hug or a pat on the back; join in their silly antics. Let them know that you appreciate the fun and joy they bring to the family.

Powerful Cholerics need loyalty, a sense of control, appreciation and accomplishment. To fill a Choleric’s bucket, let them be in charge of something. They naturally want to lead, so give them a place to lead. For example, if four-year-old Max, a Powerful Choleric, is getting cranky, fill his bucket by saying, “Max, we’re going to sit at that picnic table under the big oak tree. You lead the way and the rest of us will follow you!”

Proper Melancholies need sensitivity, support when down, space and silence. You can fill a Melancholy’s bucket by giving them some time alone every day. Help the others in the family understand and validate this need, even by simply saying, “Heidi is going to read alone in her room for a little bit. Let’s give her some time to recharge her battery.”  Your Melancholy child will love you for this simple little gift of understanding her!

Peaceful Phlegmatics need peace and quiet, a feeling of worth, a lack of stress and respect. To fill a Phlegmatic’s bucket, notice their positive contributions to the family and tell them what you see. They don’t toot their own horn and they often sell themselves short. A Peaceful Phlegmatic in a large or busy family can slip through the cracks because they are not the squeaky wheel. Speak life into your Phlegmatic by looking them in the eye and saying something like, “Thank you for being willing to go with the flow today when we were rushing to get out the door. You really made it easier for me.”

Struggles & Peace

As you intentionally fill your kids’ buckets, they will learn from your example. They will pick up what you model for them. When sibling struggles arise, you can remind them of the emotional needs of each other by saying something like, “You know that Susie (Sanguine) thrives on attention. And you are longing for some space and silence. Why don’t you play with her for five minutes, and then I will make sure you get some time alone.”

When we fill our kids’ buckets, and teach them to fill each other’s buckets, we not only make our home life more peaceful. We also equip them to encounter the different personalities they will experience at school, on the playground and everywhere they go. Because personalities are everywhere!

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Thank You, Carrie

I just love the gentle and fun reminders my friend Carrie Hoffman included in this guest post she wrote for me in preparation for summer! I was so excited to pass them along to you! You might be wondering what personality your child is. Please check out the Learning the Language of Your Child’s Heart parenting and personality online course.

Additionally, I wanted to provide some resources that might help your summer go more smoothly. We all know that summer fun can quickly turn into summer chaos if we don’t have some ideas up our sleeve! You might even enjoy reading this past blog article titled Your Best Summer Ever to discover five practical tips to make this your best summer ever! You’ll love the fun ideas you’ll find there…and I promise…they are not complex…just easy! (PSSST….There are several free downloads, including our sample summer schedule, a list of self-care ideas, list of fun things to learn and do, and a template for summer theme planning.) You won’t want to miss out on those! These same downloads can also be found in the free library of parenting resources that you can have access to by visiting this link.

Planning the Best Summer

I have taken several approaches to summer, but hands down, the best summers are those that I have put in a little forethought and planning. It doesn’t even have to be detailed planning. Perhaps you could start with just these simple little focus-finding questions:

  1. Is there anything going into summer that feels stressful? How might you alleviate some of that stress? (ex: resources, support, specific tools or strategies, scheduled self-care, extra help, etc)
  2. What are three things that are important for our family to experience this summer?
  3. What do each of my children truly need this summer? Hint, hint:  think about their personality to make sure you don’t miss the mark!
  4. If you could have changed one thing about last summer what would it have been?
  5. What is the most important thing you want your children to feel this summer?

We are excited to be making our list of summer fun ideas this week! (That’s in the other blog, so don’t miss reading it!!) Oh….and our string game…almost ready to go! Just need the yarn! Have you ever played the string game? Let me share our fun summer tradition…

Each year, on the last day of school, I get out the colored yarn. Each child gets their own color. Before they get home from school, I string the yarn strategically around the living room and sunroom, going up, under, through and around things. At the end of each string is something fun for them to use in the summer. We’ve had fun books, gift cards, games, water bottles, workbooks, squirt guns, sunglasses, journals, and more! So when they walk in, all the different yarn colors start at the same place. After posing for the picture, they begin their hunt for the end of their string and treat! As simple as it is, the kids absolutely love it! So glad we started this fun tradition so many years ago!

I will leave you with both of these posts to jump start your summer! And I will even give you an updated summer planning template. Now don’t miss out on the other freebies mentioned above, sign up here to get access to these and more:

  • Sample Summer Plan
  • Our Sample Summer Schedule
  • Summer Planning Template
  • Self-Care Ideas
  • List of Fun Things to Learn and Do (over 100 ideas!)

Now go and plan some fun…no need to make it extravagant or stressful! Keep it simple and meaningful!! Make the most of your summertime and together time. Maximize Your Joy in the Heart Work of Parenting!

Let’s Do This!

Jami Kirkbride





Another great article you might want to check out is 8 Tips for a Great Family Vacation.

You can start Your Parenting Journal Planner at any time with 72 undated pages with tips and great organizational spaces to journal your parenting journey through the next year. All for only $5. Start your own summer traditions and document it for great memories!


Get your 72-page Parenting Journal Planner Here $5

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