Life is so different today.
Will there even be a “summer vacation from school/work”?
What will it look like?
Set Intentions for Your Best Summer Yet!
Often, in life before the coronavirus, parents would tell me that they wanted to spend more quality family time together. Other things I heard were that parents wanted to work on being more patient, to decrease the amount of yelling in their home and to get their kids to do chores or to play nicely together.
You can still have any -or all- of these as your intentions for this summer.
Brainstorm a list of things you want and then present the idea of setting intentions to the rest of your family. Invite them to brainstorm, either individually or together as a whole family – you might be amazed at some of their ideas.
One year, when my girls were quite young, my intention was to spend quality time outdoors as much as possible. I was determined to go to as many parks in our town as I could over that summer. Fort Collins has a LOT of parks… while we didn’t get to everyone, we found many new parks and enjoyed a variety of playgrounds.
Right now our parks are all closed off, but there are still things you could do if you set your mind to it.
You could create an obstacle course for your family once a week in your home or yard. (Intention: Family Fun; creativity; more laughter!)
We created an entertaining version of HopScotch on our sidewalk. Each section had a different action (stomp on the stars, spin to the circle, hop on the green squares, jump to …). This reminded us of a game we used to play years ago called Hullabaloo. We dug it out of the basement and played as a family. All I can say is that it was a total giggle fest.
If you are feeling down because your original summer intentions included travel that isn’t happening – plan a staycation. Staycations are often referred to as a time to enjoy being in your own home or doing things in your home town. However, in the late 90s, I worked with a family who couldn’t afford to go on a vacation so we created a special “staycation” for them – we were certainly ahead of our time!
They decided they wanted to go to Mexico and then did some research. When they came back to meet with me a few weeks later, they told me how they decorated their living room and about the traditional Mexican food they ate, the music that they played, and how they dressed for their visit. They did not pick traditional clothes but did turn up the heat for a few hours and wore summer clothes even though it was probably only 20 degrees in NY at the time! They did borrow a sombrero from a neighbor but they also had maps, books, and videos about Mexico that they enjoyed looking at and discussing while they ate. I am sure that when that family, or even just the kids as grown-ups, got to go to the real Mexico, they were ready and had fond memories of places they wanted to see in person.
One of the intentions my family will be discussing soon is setting goals. I would love to read a book every few weeks. We could discuss our books (same or different) and share our recommendations with each other. I would love for each of us to learn a new song on an instrument (voice included) every week or two. Decreasing screen time might be another goal we all set…
One client of mine already started her intention of family fun-time together. She didn’t want to wait until summer officially started. Her family is having a Lego building contest with a theme every 2 weeks. One week it was buildings (someone built a house, someone built a hotel and someone built a treehouse), another week it was vehicles and I hear that bridges are coming up soon. To add a little spice to their Lego-builds, the mom is posting the pictures on social media and having friends vote on the best one.
So whether your intentions are to spend more quality time as a family together, to spend less time yelling, or to have everyone set individual and/or family goals, make a little time this week. Think about what kind of summer you want and set some specific intentions. Brainstorm ways to make those intentions reality.
I would love to hear what your intentions are – feel free to comment below or send me an email at DrRenee@HelpingParentsParent.com
If you’re looking for more help or guidance in setting your intentions or how to brainstorm with your family, let me know. This is something we discuss in my Parent Groups during the month of May or that you and I could talk about during a One-on-One session.