I am sitting in a coffee shop this morning, and the barista has engaged each person for the past hour with questions about what they plan to do this summer. Good thing she changed the subject and she asked me about Mother’s Day, as I have not done much planning other than my “project” cabinet is getting full with items to do this summer; from books, to seeds to plan, to a new coffee roaster.
Meanwhile, I am meeting with quite a few non-custodial parents who have extended parenting time with their children and we are working on their summer plans (one way to live vicariously). The one thing I would like to encourage us all to do is to make positive memories this summer. This will take some strategizing and pre-planning. But what better way to remember 2019, as the year that we built togetherness. This could even lead to traditions being born! This might sound overwhelming, but it does not have to be.
Make A Memory
Here are a few steps to break down any barriers – to take the time from overwhelming to overcoming:
1. Become a private investigator
Start by asking yourself – how can I encourage my children? You see their natural giftings – now lean into their talents and interests. You might discover something wonderful that you did not even know you would enjoy about them. I know about paintball, photography, sheep, soccer, knitting and tea just because I have been involved with children, who have enlarged my scope of life.
2. Be creative – money is not the object
Once you know their interests – find ways to encourage their interests. For example, if someone in your family like animals – you might enjoy a day together at the county fair. If that seems too expensive there are a number of free items usually associated with each activity. For instance, did you know the county fairs have a livestock auction? Often times it is free early in the morning towards the end of the fair. You can learn tons and see the teenagers show their animals for the market plus support your local community.
3. Develop a skill
Maybe your child struggles with math, or maybe your child is really good at and enjoys math. Could you work on a project together? Learn to sew, become a Cornhole champion, throw ball and learn to feel what 20 feet, 25 feet and 50 feet feel like from the outside in, or create your own Parkour event.
The one thing I will encourage each of us to do is to make the summer of 2019 count. Don’t let this opportunity to make a memory go by. In fact, we have Memorial Day weekend coming up in a week. What can we each do to make the weekend memorable? We can even make up a family song, a family meal, or a family outing for our memory to recount. Just make your time together count, and not slide by as just another nondescript day in the midst of many other days.