Relaxing and Invigorating Family Summer
Alexa Montecillo (The Freeman) - March 23, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — It’s official – summer is here! With the kids off from school, the family may now look forward to enjoying the sunny days together, grilling out, and watching fireflies at dusk. The longer days can mean more family time.

By now, there may already be a ready list of things the family wants to do together.  Having such list serves a number of positive purposes – mainly that making the list can be a good shared family activity and the ready list takes away the trouble of having to think of what to do as each summer day rolls in. And, it gives everyone in the family a quick idea of how their summer together looks.

If, however, the family’s summer list is still in the works or yet about to be started on, there are certain things to consider in order ‘to get the ball rolling’. Everybody shall think up their individual favorite activities. On the other hand, they also have to think of the things they don’t like to happen, so these can be avoided right during the planning stage yet.

The summer list need not be limited only to play ideas. It’s better to also include practical and useful activities, like skills- and self-enhancement endeavors that are fun for everyone. Arts and crafts, kite making, cooking, performing, and the like would be nice to have every now and then.

But everyone shall understand that in the end it’s the family’s summer list, meaning that certain individual preferences of family members may not make it to the final list. Some ideas may just be not within the overall set of priorities or are just way out of what the family resources can afford to cover. The kids’ excitement, especially, need not be dampened but kept within realistic bounds.

Narrowing down the list to the most doable things is also protecting everyone from possible disappointment, which can render the rest of the summertime uninteresting. One cancelled activity after the other is, for sure, not what anyone wants. So the scenario is better prevented early on as much as possible, as early as during the planning stage.

And yet any activity or idea that will not make it to the current list may not have to ‘die’. Summer listing may be made a family tradition, and ideas that may not be lucky this year may be entered again next year. Ideas are welcomed or let go depending on the family’s obtaining situation.

In drawing the final summer list, family members may have to do a vote. Say, only the 20 activities with the highest votes will make it. The other ideas that don’t make it may be starred or circled for next year’s consideration, updated if need be. No ideas may have to go to waste.

Trips to a museum or the zoo are educational, so as visiting botanical gardens or hikes at a nature park. As much as possible, such activities shall find space in the final list. Even if these activities may require going on a little trip – to the next town or city – they’re really worth it.

The kids deserve their time for play. It’s summer! Kids learn a lot just by being kids and playing outside to their hearts’ desire. Yes, playing outside expands their horizons.

Studies show that giving kids important rules and instructions and then setting them on their own increases their sense of independence and self-discipline. So, the little ones shall be allowed to be on their own, with no parental nagging. Such times shall be in the summer list, too.

The family’s summer list need not be too kid-focused. While parents may tend to just want to get the kids occupied so they (the parents) can have their extra free time, they need to actively participate in the listed family summer activities.  Parents can’t teach their kids what they don’t do themselves.

Summer is an opportune time for everyone in the family, kids and parents alike, to make time to do something relaxing and invigorating. Working parents may schedule a time off from work – companies allow paid vacation leaves – to lead the summer activities at home. The various activities the family does in summer can bring them closer together… and bring nice memories for them to cherish for a long, long time onwards.


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