Plan To Have Fun This Summer!
Summer is upon us, and it’s a great time for fun family activities. But unfortunately, many parents don’t spend enough quality time with their kids, doing fun things. Which is a shame, because research consistently shows that kids would rather spend time with their families than have access to extra-curricular activities. That isn’t to say that soccer and t-ball aren’t important; it’s just that we shouldn’t be enrolling our kids in activities supervised by other people at the expense of spending fun time with them ourselves. Here’s a way to break past the good intentions we somehow don’t follow through on (this is from Jane Nelsen’s book Positive Discipline, in the chapter on family meetings):
Get everyone in the family together, and pull out a sheet of paper, titled “Fun Things To Do” that has a bunch of headings: Together as a Family – divided into activities that are free and those with a cost involved, Mom and Dad – free/cost involved, Alone – free/cost involved. This gives you six categories to fill in. Have fun brainstorming as many activities as you can think of that fall into each of the categories. Everyone can take a similar blank sheet with them from the meeting to continue to fill in during the week, including the fun “alone” activities they might like to do.
During your next family meeting, decide which nights, days, weekends, and vacation days you can set aside for family fun, then use a master list to help choose a fun family activity to do each of those times, depending on your time and budget. Write them in the calendar! This is how good intentions go awry: we don’t make a note of them and then they slip away.
I think the beginning of summer is the time when a lot of us look ahead and think about all the fun and exciting things we’d like to do this year. But then September comes, and we’re disappointed to realize that we didn’t do nearly as many of those fun activities as we had intended. Getting everyone in the family involved and being vigilant about putting these dates on the calendar can help everyone in the family remember and look forward to the things you have planned.
Have a fun summer!