Lots of buzz in social media about how to spend summer with the kids.
Some schedule tons of camps away from home. Others make everyday a backyard fair and creativity fest. Others cheer for no structure so kids can learn to discover and appreciate their surroundings and make their own fun.
A client recently heard this phrase on the radio that I think simplifies the summer plan concept a bit: “As a family, plan to have a daily pause, a weekly escape and a big adventure.”
What comes to mind when you frame summer like this?
For me, the BIG adventure felt heavy. I wondered what would make it BIG enough. I stressed a while before concluding that it can be anything that lands our whole family together. It doesn’t need to be an “Around the World in 80 Days” hot air balloon adventure. (Although, if any of you do that, I’d like photos!)
It might be a family wedding weekend or a reunion. It might be a road or train trip. Might be the first air travel with a baby. It might be a weeks’ STAYcation with local adventures you’ve never done. Anything that affords time to see the whites of your kids eyes and really see and hear them would qualify.
The daily pause can be a meal, a regular walk, a car ride, or even a bedtime ritual. Just stop for a moment and ask your kids questions. Don’t forget to answer the questions you ask. They will start asking some really great questions in return! If you don’t know where to start, try these:
• If you could do anything you wanted to tomorrow, what would it be?
• What person in history would you like to meet and talk to for one day?
• What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve seen today?
The escape can be taking a walk or a bike ride in the middle of a busy week, or just calling everyone in the living room (or the yard, or around a campfire) to dance! Maybe it’s a Nerf gun challenge and winner chooses ice cream. Make a list of weekly escapes that you can pin the fridge. Get the kids’ input.
Valuing Your Summer Schedule
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And whether you plan the summer to the minute or you flow with the wind, enjoy. And momaste!
Julie Ford is a certified life coach, author, speaker, and trainer. She helps organizations support their high performers through parenting transitions. With one-on-one and group coaching, she helps her clients to define what matters most in their lives, and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to find more joy and less chaos in the everyday.