Want to have fun this summer with your child or children and build a stronger relationship? Summer offers so many opportunities for relationship building. Children typically do not have as many commitments. The hard part is that parents sometimes have the same work schedules and commitments. But do not despair. The longer sunlit days help us with less after school practices and homework, etc.
Here are some things to consider when finding ways to really “be with” your child and strengthen your relationship during these delightful summer time months.
- Use this wonderful time to expand your activities to include things that are considered summer activities. Make a commitment to do this. You will find that enjoying the extra sunlight and time outside is good for you to on a personal level too. Out there collecting all that Vitamin D (the happy vitamin) and enjoying the wonderful outdoors is a nice backdrop.
- Create a structured time when you plan to take advantage of this beautiful gift of summer. This may mean you do a daily game of catch in the backyard or a every Tuesday night we go to the park night, etc. If it is scheduled or a regular commitment you have made it is so much more likely to happen.
- Really talk with your child or children about what they enjoy doing in the summer time and incorporate as much of that as possible. Sometimes we think we know what our children want to do, but sometimes this changes and shifts as they age or grow new interests, etc. So ask. They will be so happy that you did. It also shows a deep respect for them as young people with their own unique preferences. And it shows you care and that you value their desires. This is not to say that if what they want to do does not fit with your value system that you need to do it. But it may be that you can find some similar things that would work for the both of you.
- Really “BE THERE” during these special times together. It means putting all our electronic devices in the OFF position and really focusing on this special time you have been given to spend with your child. It also means that you ask your children if they are older and have electronic devices that they put their’s in the OFF position also. There may be a bit of grumbling. But when you tell them this is a special time and you really want to spend it with them they can get that and if not they will at some point.
- Enjoy, listen, interact. Have fun! It is not so much what you have chosen to do, but more about your attentive interaction.
So have a great summer with lots of time to play and be with each other. You will be glad you did!