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I recently read an essay by a 50-something mom who was longing for the days when her kids were young and every summer season was filled with their screaming voices, sibling rivalry and oodles of time spent carting them to the pool, BBQ’s and Fireworks ceremonies.
Her words were so full of longing for those early years that it made me realize not only do I take those very moments for granted, but I actually dread them. Between managing the stress of working and raising a tween and teen I’ve found myself yearning to fast-forward to a period when my kids will be old enough to fix their own sandwiches and plan their own play dates.
While this mom sheepishly acknowledged harboring similar feelings at the time, it’s ultimately those seemingly simple moments, like watching her kids’ faces light up at the sight of a glowing fireworks display and their attempts to perfect their in the pool somersault while giving their parent a mini stroke as they wait with baited breath until said child emerges from the water that she wishes she would’ve appreciated more.
So, parents, I’ll leave you with those thoughts to hold close to your heart as you embark on some of your summer expeditions. Time is fleeting, and when it’s gone, you’ll only remember the good stuff!
Summertime provides plenty of opportunities for kids to watch, listen, smell, touch, and taste new things. It gives them a chance to really give their senses a workout. Summer is also the perfect time to encourage exploration, experimentation, and curiosity. Studies have shown that free, unstructured time gives children’s brains a chance to process and expand on what they learned throughout the school year. For me personally summer is an opportunity to spend time getting back to the basic stuff with my kids.
What kinds of activities do I suggest to help make EVERY DAY A BIG DAY this Summer?
#1 Take your dogs for long walks ( and if you don’t have a dog- donate your time and your kids’ time to do a good deed and walk someone else’s dog!) The time spent caring for and helping a four legged friend get exercise is also a wonderful opportunity to organically have a conversation- about everything and anything ( especially if you’ve got a dog who likes to take her time getting her business done!)
#2 Grab an old fashioned book, a few lawn chairs and do a little reading in the fresh air ( oh and don’t forget to include a few treats- to satisfy my kids cravings- we ALWAYS have some Premier Protein bars and shakes on hand! They are the quintessential way to get the protein we need and are a much healthier alternative to junk food at the beach or while on-the-go
– they each have 30 grams of protein, meaning it takes longer to digest (thereby making you feel fuller, longer)
– they’re low in fat
– they have only one gram of sugar per serving
Check out all the yummy bars and shakes here to help keep your kids full and focused for the Big Day ahead and frozen grapes!)
#3 Teach each other something new. This summer my 12 year old has promised to teach me how to skateboard – don’t worry I’ve got my helmet!
#4 Take a break from a schedule. Allow your children to spend a few days or a week sleeping late and doing a lot of nothing. Give them time to unwind without having to follow a schedule.
#5 Evaluate what’s on your bookshelves. Summer is a great time to pare down and organize. Donate textbooks and books your child has outgrown. Discard old schoolwork. Keep only creative writing or special assignments.
So what are you going to do to help your kids make EVERY DAY A Big Day this summer?