I can hear you over the internet . . . . "Finally, a post that's fun and not bossy or depressing." It's a relief, it's summer, it's fuuuuuunnnnnnnnn!
Having fun together is one of the best, most effective and life enhancing relationship tool. Better then a well crafted "I Message", better then a routine (well, wait, hold on, I love me a routine), better then a logical consequence, better then a lecture.
We forget that laughing together, sharing a delightful moment, going on an adventure is the real glue that binds us. The relationship is where we find the powerful influence we are searching for. Summer is the perfect time to add in the fun, the spice, the laughter. Here are some ideas for you.
Banangrams - great for all ages, funny, and the teeniest bit educational for any over achieving parents out there.
Hiking - not too long (seriously, I know YOU can go 5 miles), just a couple miles, somewhere pretty with a sugary and yummy snack, in a nice portion control size baggie. Outside + fresh air + movement + not too long + yummy treat = fun memories or awful memories that are fun to share later. Win or Win.
The Onion - Seriously? Honestly? It's not called, "America's Finest News Source" for no reason. There is something for everyone, here are a few of my favorites: Man Treats Mother to Details, More Colleges Offer Dick Around Programs, and this one just slays me, I am giggling right now . . . Cracks In Facade Visible As Teen Enters Third Day Vacationing With Friend’s Family.
Cooking - if you cook stuff they want to eat and you let them help it can be a lot of fun. Some hard won tips -- cook with only one child with you in the kitchen, otherwise it's all elbows to the ribs and complaining about who gets to do what or who has to do what. Also, let them cook messy. So much more fun if you aren't tense and wiping up every dang spill behind them.
Ignore them. Some benign neglect is just perfect for summer. Don't get roped in by them whining at you, "I'm soooo bored." If you hear them coming, head for the bathroom with your kindle and feign stomach distress, they'll figure something out.
Watch the unfolding with the fireflies. Fireflies are magical little creatures that come and go so quickly. A perfect metaphor for watching our children (or ourselves) unfold. We are all unfolding into the people we are supposed to be. Sometimes instead of coaxing, worrying, lecturing, nagging, reminding, checking, double checking . . . we can just sit back and relax, enjoy who they are today, enjoy who we are today. Then we can watch the fireflies and laugh about all the fun we had that day. . . what could be more summery?