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In early June summer break seems like such a long stretch of time, full of possibility. You have big plans and so do your spouse and your kids. But without a little actual planning and coordination, it’s easy to let summer pass you buy. (As you can see, June has about passed me by before I had a chance to share a post with you.) Yes, it’s nice to have some time to relax, sleep in and not do a whole lot of anything, but between limited days off for many parents and budget constraints when it comes to summer spending, having a fun summer full of family memories can be a bit of a challenge. Before you know it summer is over, the weather’s getting cooler and the kids are back in school. I love using a nice planner to make sure I have things written down.
To make sure summer doesn’t pass you by and to make sure everyone’s happy, start your summer break with a family meeting. You can do this before Summer break starts, (or now) right at the beginning, or anytime you feel the need to get everyone on the same page. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make it a point to have a conversation as a family about what each of you wants to get out of Summer Break.
Get everyone together and just take turns sharing what each of you would like to do this summer. You may be surprised about some of the suggestions. If you have older kids, make sure you are aware of any firm plans they’ve made for the summer, so everything else can be worked around this schedule. The same goes for any other commitments any family member already has. It helps to take notes and have a calendar at the ready for the planning. There might be a lot to work around like summer camp, bible school, summer jobs, etc.
Once you have figured out what everyone would like to do this summer, it’s time to talk, compromise and make some decisions as a family about what’s important, what you can fit in and what sadly won’t make it into your summer plans. Getting everyone involved in this decision process and making sure you not only hear, but try to work in some of what’s important to each family member, makes it easier to come up with some plans and activities that everyone will be happy with. If it’s a vacation together as a family, or simple things like picnic’s, day at the beach, sleep overs, etc., it’s nice to have things planned out. Maybe a trip to Disney is in order? You can use a fun Disney vacation planner for that too.
One word of caution. With everyone’s input you may be tempted to fit as much as you possibly can into your summer. That can get quite exhausting and no one ends up enjoying all those “fun” activities as much as they thought they would. Leave plenty of time to rest and relax. Don’t plan more than one activity per day and include a few days to just lie around the house, watch Netflix and order pizza. I know we all want to experience as much as possible over the summer break, but we also have to realize that pacing ourselves is good too. Sometimes even checking out some local deals on sites like Groupon helps when looking to save a bit of money on summer activities.