Over the past few weeks we have talked a lot about how to keep your child learning over the summer through our summer reading program and the importance of keeping the momentum the have gathered during the past year. Why don’t we talk about the importance of building memories and family connections …
Do you have summer memories from your childhood that you will remember forever? These are much more important than you may think.
The reason those memories are burned into your mind and heart is they are experienced at a deep emotional level. These deep emotional connections are so important for the development of a child. To better understand and appreciate what a deep emotional connection and experience is just think of anything that makes you ball yours eyes out crying, or makes you roll on the ground in a big belly laugh you cannot stop. You want your child's life to be rich and full of these. Our most powerful memories are all seated with a strong emotion attached to it.
Many believe that in today's fast paced and technologically driven world, kids today are missing out on this. Too much "screen time". These screens cannot give children the rich emotional experiences they need. But more alarming is they cannot give them the personal one-one "human" connection with others. They say that the real reason being with other is a human need is because sharing events with others is the "ultimate magnifier of the human experience". “Being mentally present, and available” for our children is equally important.
So what can you do? ......Here are a few suggestions:
Limit Screen Time: PUT THE PHONES DOWN!!!
Make it intentional and controlled. Not just for your children but for us too. Enough said!
Quality over Quantity:
Intentionally spend time with your kids and… BE FULLY PRESENT IN EVERY MOMENT. (Put away the devices). Allow the best version of yourself to be present. Just ask yourself this …What does the best version of me look like for my children, and how do I show up in that moment?
Here is the good news. You do not need to spend a ton of time with them but make your primary objective to spend quality time with them. Get creative and do new things. Go to places you have never gone before. You should go to one place as a family or personally you have never been to every year. Meet new people. Get a little crazy. Have your kids involved in researching and finding things to do. Make it a family decision.
Make Memories and Magic Moments:
Make life long memories! Here’s the best part….it does not have to be elaborate or expensive. It can be as simple as throwing a ball around, or planting a garden together, or find things you never thought of doing in your own backyard. A camping or fishing trip always make memories.
Traveling is another great one and you do not have to travel far. There are many excellent destinations within 2-3 hours of the GTA. In our family traveling has always been at the top of our list, and if you are anything like us most often the memories are made in the journey, more so than at the destination? Interestingly, our fondest memories have been around things going wrong. It is the most amazing feeling when something big goes wrong, then all you do is laugh and solve it! Family vacations are full of happy misadventures. Some seem big at the tie but when looking back are some of the best memories of all.
Make a New Family Tradition: Remember the word "culture". This is your family identity, who you are as a family. A common one is an annual camping trip or family reunion. Creating a family tradition or that special place you visit every summer. But anything you do on a regular basis will work.
I reward my son with our annual Father Son fishing trip. Every year we spend a week away together fishing (we love fishing and the wilderness) in a remote camp in Northern Quebec if, of course, his progress in school and his character must merit it. CHARACTER MATTERS!!
This was his final year of school, however, the tradition will carry on well into his adulthood and I hope to share it with his children one day as well.
Summer is short, and while we want to maintain our learning momentum..... their childhood is even shorter! So, get your kids involved and make some life long memories this summer!
Have an amazing vacation!
Sensei, and your Keiko TEAM