“In the short term, it would make me happy to go play outside. In the long term, it would make me happier to do well at school and become successful. But in the VERY long term, I know which will make better memories.”
~ Bill Watterson, It’s a Magical World
Not So Great Summer Memory: The day I emptied out my kitchen cabinets and made my kids clean and line the cupboards with contact paper because they would not stop whining about how bored they were. All their friends were very busy at kaleidoscope camp or in Fiji swimming with the sharks. When I suggested that they go outside and play together I heard, “It’s too hot outside” or “There are beeeeees out there!” I felt my only option was the cabinets.
Great Summer Memory: Reading the whole Goosebumps book series to my kids. We did not have central air, just a big old wall unit in the living room. My husband was working the night shift then, so the kids and I would throw pillows and comforters on the living room floor, crank up the wall unit, put on our pj’s, and settle in while I read to them from Goosebumps. We’d fall asleep right there on the living room floor. Remembering those nights still warms my heart.
I am not suggesting that you become your child’s full-time playmate, but, do carve out a little time during your busy schedule to engage in some free, imaginative play with your children during these dog days of August. Fun, just for fun’s sake, will enhance your relationship and create summer memories that last a lifetime.
by Claire Gawinowicz, Certified Parenting Educator