It is a common observation among all of us parents that our children grow up way too fast! Combine that with the equally prevalent opinion among most of us that summers go by faster than any other season and you can end up with a startling conclusion: you only have 18 summers to spend with your children before they’re all grown up! Sadly, most of us parents are so busy raising our children, taking care of our daily chores and home, building those necessary jobs and careers along with all the other obligations that weigh heavy on our shoulders these days that often we don’t fully realize that time has flown and now we only have 4 or 5 summers left with our precious children living under our roof. Regardless of how old your own children are, why not pledge right now to make the most of each and every summer going forward!
Summers With Your Children are Special
Every child looks forward to summer when school gets out, the temperatures rise, and days seem to last longer. Whether your child goes off to camp, on a family vacation, or spends time at home spending time in the neighborhood this is the time of year when they can spend more time outdoors, play their favorite sports, eat their favorite foods and celebrate the more laid back side of life.
Most parents want to give their children some space to grow and develop their own interests. You may also feel like summer is the time of year where you finally get some much needed space of your own. No more carpool at 7am…YAY! Parenting is never easy and as much as you love spending time with your children you also need some time to get things done and to pursue your own interests. If you can find the time! Yet, you want to make sure that find the balance of time spent with your children as well as making sure they are not sitting on the sofa all summer watching television or scrolling on their devices! That is why it’s so important to make sure that you do take the time to bond with your children and share some precious time together. You’ll certainly find that time spent as a family over the summer creates memories that will last a lifetime for you all!
Fun Summer Ideas
What are some of the best ways to bond with your children on long summer afternoons and evenings? It really depends on so many things. Each family has its own preferences and unique traditions. Perhaps you have special spots where you’ve always gone together as a family, whether it’s a vacation spot, a favorite beach, or a corner of your own backyard that you all hanging together. Here are some more suggestions to spark your imagination:
Take that vacation that you’ve been putting off. Nowadays, we are all so busy with work and all the other responsibilities that we have that we often put off taking that special trip that we have “talked” about over the years. Many of us even fail to use that vacation time that we’ve earned. If this you, resolve to work towards taking at one of those trips that you’re family has dreamt about. If you can, choose a destination that each family member will love and where there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Make time to share summer meals without your devices at the table. Not that long ago, the idea of families eating meals together was completely normal and ordinary. Unfortunately, with families these days rushing around from one activity to another, that is no longer the case. This summer is a great time to set a goal as a family to spend more time enjoying some summer meals together. Warm evenings are a perfect time to take the time to prepare some of your favorite family dishes together, throw a backyard barbecue, or take some family outings to enjoy some of those local eateries that you’ve been dying to try. One of our favorite dining activities is to see if somewhere in your town or city you can find a food truck rally. Those are lots of fun!
Have regular family nights. This is something that you can do all year, but it does seem easier to plan in the summer. Put aside one night per week for spending a few hours alone together as a family, even if you have to do a little juggling with your schedules. What you do together is secondary, whether you go to a movie, play a board game, or just hang around and talk, the point is spending time together.
Take short but fun road trips. Summers are a great time for outings, which can be as short or as long as you want. Drive to a nice spot for a family hike or picnic, pop up a tent at your local lake and have a camp-out, go to a local sporting event, amusement park or even a museum. Better yet, get your children to work together to plan a fun road trip!
Take the time this summer to learn more about what interests your children. Observe what they like doing best over the summer in their free time. Take some special time out to learn about the kind of sports, music, movies, or hobbies that fascinate them the most. You think you already know this, but you might just be surprised to find out about something new! This will continue to give you some common ground for future activities and conversations throughout the entire year.
Don’t Forget to Capture Memories
Don’t forget to get into the summer photos. If you’re like me, I tend to shy away when the smartphone camera is pointed in my direction. However, this summer make sure you are in some of the photographs that you and your family are taking. Just like you enjoy looking back at your old family photos one day you will enjoy seeing yourself as much as your children will!
Have a Great Summer!
There are just a few ways that you can spend some extra special time bonding with your children this summer. It’s a little sad sometimes to contemplate how quickly time passes. On the other hand, it’s a positive thing if it motivates all of us to plan more activities with the ones that we love. If you have more ideas for having a great summer with your family pop on over and visit us on Facebook. We’d love to hear from you!
Also published on Medium.