It's an argument many working parents hear from their children. "Why can't we have a relaxing summer like our friends? Why do we have to attend camp everyday?"

The obviously answer is because your office doesn't shut down during the summer months. And while many companies are incorporating flextime and work-from-home options, working parents still search for fun summer camps, only to hear about friends with stay-at-home parents, who are obviously enjoying a more carefree family-focused summer.

It's up to you to change their minds. All that's needed is creativity, a different mindset and a positive attitude.

1. Create a Summer Bucket List

Literally. Purchase a kid's beach pail, Sharpie pens, and notecards. Brainstorm family-friendly activities and write them on the notecards. They could be as elaborate as a beach vacation or as simple as catching fireflies. Fill up the bucket and use the ideas to make a fun-filled summer.

2. Look for Cheap or Free Family-Friendly Outings

Trips to the local library, free movies in the park, farmer's markets, concerts. They all make for great family adventures. Check with your local parks and recreation department for events. Local newspapers usually list happenings around town in the Friday editions.

3. Structure Your Weekend to Allow for Free Time

Working parents often rely on weekends to run errands and tackle projects around the house. Refrain from filling up Saturday and Sunday with to-do lists.

4. Take Back the Night

You spend the day at the office, so as much as time — and your kids' ages — permits, make the nighttime family time. Walks after dinner, a board game or game of cards on the deck, star gazing, movie night. Family time doesn't have to disappear when the sun goes down.

5. Invest in Some Backyard Games

They're the stuff that summer gatherings are made of, and no longer reserved only for big 4th of July picnics. Badminton, volleyball, Frisbee, croquet, ladder ball, beanbag toss are just a few backyard games that provide entertainment for all ages. Don't spend a ton of money on equipment since you're not looking for top of the line competitive items!

6. Revisit Some Oldies but Goodies

In today's electronic age, your kids will be shocked to learn that as a child you and your friends passed the time playing games like freeze tag, kick the can, hide and seek and ghost in the graveyard. It might be time to introduce them and revisit your youth at the same time.

7. Reserve Time for Reading

If your kids are old enough to read independently, reading may not be an interactive activity. But having everyone settle in for a designated reading time is collaborative. If your children are old enough, consider reading the same book that allows for discussion about the plot and characters.

8. Capture the Summer Together

Many parents will struggle this summer to keep the electronics under control. Here's a way to use the gadgets to your advantage. Take pictures and videos using smartphones and tablets. Create an Instagram, Facebook page or blog. Title the account "Our Summer Together," and post pictures and videos that capture the biggest or smallest summer adventures. You'll have a fun time visiting the memories the day before school starts this September as well as many future Septembers to come.

If you're still made to feel guilty about your summer work schedule, remind your kids that summer boredom usually sets in by July 4th. My children ferociously complained when I returned to work three years ago. They still grumble when the summer camp schedule is posted. Then I jog their memory about long hot days when the pool was no longer fun, they were tired of their friends, sick of the routine and resorted to nagging and arguing to pass the time. Boredom is as just a part of summer vacation as popsicles. Family time is, too, regardless of work schedules.