While the unofficial start of the summer is right around the corner, the three month stretch sometimes poses some different, sometimes more difficult, issues for some busy, working parents. Sometimes the time, instead of being one in which families are gleeful together, the time seems to be lengthy and the relationships between family members may even seem somewhat distant due to stress.
In order to make summertime the sensation that it is hyped up to be, perhaps parents need to take a page from the playbook of experts at EmpoweringParents.com. When you do, you may just find that summertime does not have to be stressful, that relationships can build as opposed to crumble and that by taking a few simple steps, you will find the time flying away – perhaps even much to your dismay!
First and foremost, EmpoweringParents.com suggests that parents take a good hard look at the Dominican University Study published about making lists. What it proved was that 42% of people are much more likely to achieve their goals when they write them down; sticking to tasks set. The study lends itself to two other very important topics of concern and that is accountability and commitment. The parents that stick with it will be that much happier because they are doing everything – business and personal – and having a beneficial time doing it.
Parents do try to make the summer bucket list about fun, family and making memories, if they try to cram too much in, every one of those things tends to crumble under the pressure. Make the bucket list about quality and not quantity; include all family members, regardless of age, in on the planning so that the time is enjoyable for everyone. The decisions made as a family are important because they strive toward commitment, accountability and values.
Parents, especially those in America, have a tendency to talk and plan and rush around all the time. Sometimes with everything that we sign up to do, we tend to forget the “commitments” made to our children. That is why it is so important to create the summer bucket list as a family and prioritize the time to achieve many of the goals. The time we spend with them teaches them the importance of commitment and teaches them to prioritize family as well. The more time parents take out of their busy days to spend with their children, the more permanent and lasting the memory will be – and that lesson tends to continue on to your children’s families as well!
When making the list, make certain to include some personal goals for each member of the family. That way, when the weather does not cooperate with some plans, neither parents or children will have to complain that they are “bored.” All anyone has to do at that point is refer to the list and goals that they had written that will offer the perfect solution to boredom.
The contributions that your kids could add to the list may be a pleasant surprise to you. Teenagers may even have some favorite summertime traditions they add that you may think they have forgotten about or have outgrown. When you choose to do their bucket list item, you are validating their suggestion, reinforcing the fact that you believe in what they feel, are glad that they participated and then simply let the fun begin.
It is great for families to brainstorm, create, debate and compile their own family summer bucket list. Memorial Day has just passed and the actual summer days are right around the corner. Now is the time to get a jumpstart and get going. The sooner you do, the more items can be checked off the list and the more you will achieve in your everyday life as well – with good planning in mind!
The suggestions for the summertime bucket list were derived from ideas created by Lisa Bates. She has a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, Certification to teach Behavioral Sciences and a degree in Business Administration. From school administrator and non-profit executive, to teacher, coach, counselor and mom, Lisa has extensive experience, knowledge and training working with children from toddlers to teenagers. Currently, Lisa owns and operates LB Living Better, an organizational and educational services business.