How’s your summer going? If you have kids, you know how hectic summer can be. It can be difficult to carve out a little time when you are not running to this place or that. Time to just be. Even with a family you can make time for some down time. It’s a choice. Just say no to some of the requests.
It seems we need to unplug from all our devices for our brains to work more efficiently and to keep being creative. Click here for an article at the New York Times about that. It makes sense to me. Being efficient and creative is what we need to handle things more easily, right?
So often we feel we must take the kids somewhere. I’m all for a childhood enriched by experiences, but you really don’t have to take them to see every movie, show, exhibit, performance, amusement park, water park, concert, skating rink, bowling alley, etc. in your area. It’s ok to let them hang out at the house and in the yard. I would limit the amount of time they are allowed on video games and tv and encourage them to start some kind of project for the summer. Let them choose a project they can do mainly at home so you don’t end up taking them everywhere for it.
When it’s not too hot, find ways to get outdoors. Nature seems to allow us to breathe more easily. It can be inspiring and is a wonderful antidote to stresses of many kinds. Take the family to a state park for a hike and picnic or go to the beach. Just the sound of waves will relax you, but spending time in the water works on your muscles like a good massage. Build a sand castle, take a nap, toss a frisbee around. Ride bikes in a city park. None of these things takes much money, but they are so valuable in teaching your kids about life beyond the flickering screen.
When we were kids our parents used to sit outside after dinner in the summer. They’d chat with the neighbors and we kids would catch lightning bugs (also called fireflies). When we got tired of that we’d sit or lie down on a blanket in the grass & just watch the constellations appear. We’d listen in to the adults’ conversation and just wind down before bedtime. It sounds too simple by today’s standards, but it’s a fond memory I have of those days. I see something similar with the popularity of fire pits. Friends and family sit around the fire and just relax in each other’s company. The conversation rises and falls in the night and something magical seems to happen as you watch the fire. A fire pit can be as simple as a campfire surrounded by rocks. With marshmallows to roast for s’mores, I guarantee the kids will love it. Making memories.
What ways do you carve out a little time to relax with your family?
Click any of the labels below this post for more ideas.
Click here for my post, 25 Things Older Kids Can Do Over Summer.
Thomas, thank you for sharing this! Working around the heat can be tricky, but your plan is really smart. I forgot about phones! Your kids are so lucky to have parents willing to take the time to figure this all out–and follow through! Obviously your kids are a big priority and I’m sure it will pay off in how your kids develop into well-rounded adults. It’s the best “return on investment” there is!
Thomas | Your Daily Finance says
We try to limit the kids and playing video games or being on the internet and phones all day. Its usually extremely hot so we get them up early in the morning to go outside and go to the park or beach. While its hot we have them read a book or something and later in the day get them back outdoors to play games or ride bikes. The movies and water parks are expensive and though we don’t mind doing it sometimes we can justify doing this type of stuff with a family of five. For movies now we go Netflix or Redbox. Just makes more sense and more family time. Thursdays are also game nights.