Last week, asked the question probably high on most moms’ minds right now, “What are some of you and your family’s favorite local summer time activities?”
Our readers responded:
: Cabin camping, whether nearby at KOA or Costanoa, or further out at Evergreen Lodge near Yosemite. Fun to just let the kids run around in the woods! And eat s'mores...
The Mommy’s Coach, Carrie Vawter-Yousfi organized a great list to share: The NASA Museum, miniature golf, drive-in movie theatre, PEZ Museum in Burlingame, Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville, Jelly Belly Tour, SF Academy of Science, SJ Flea Market, and a picnic at Emma Prush Memorial Farm Park!
Now, onto this week's question: How do you create and balance family time with the technology rich world we live in?
With schools out and summer officially here, kids all over are relishing their freedom and looking forward to time with friends (and hopefully family, too). Will it be in person or on Facebook, conversations while hanging out together or texting in sound bites? Is the art of conversation becoming a lost art with our children and do they get to experience the lazy languid mood of summer?
Flashing back to my childhood annual road trip, my parents would pack the four kids and our retriever in the station wagon and make the three-day trek from Florida to Maine. Yes, count ‘em, six peeps, one dog, three days. While we had our moments of “She’s touching me,” “He’s on my side," sprinkled colorfully with “If I have to pull this car over ... ” What I remember most are the fun parts.
Mom would pack a big brown bag for each of us which we couldn’t get into until we’d left Florida (at least four hours). When we did, it was hours of entertainment with coloring books, cards, reading books, paper dolls, hand crafts, GI Joes and Barbies.
We’d play the ABC game (antique signs were always the best word for getting Q and U), count colors or types of cars, see how many different state license plates we could spot. I also have this memorable image of our retriever stretched out in the back seat, with two of us pushed up against the door wondering how we were going to reclaim our positions. (Clearly before seatbelts)
Mom also packed a cooler full of lunch meat sandwiches, pickles, chips, and sodas and we’d tailgate picnics to give everyone a chance to run and stretch their legs. One of the best parts was around 4 p.m.; we’d start looking for the roadside motels that had a pool and a slide. And our gleeful “There’s one Dad!” “Oh, there’s another one!” probably landed on him the same way “Are we there yet?” still does today. They’d finally call it a day and unwind with their gin and tonic and martini (yes, it was the '60s) and we’d burn off energy in the pool for an hour.
Definitely the days before movie screens, video games, texting, and iTouch. If you’re planning a road trip, vacation, or other concentrated time together this summer, what are your tips and strategies to build connection, deepen relationships and develop the art of conversation with your kids?