Friday, June 1, 2012

Family Fun

Out & About

I've been noticing the increase in traffic lately and the only thing I can attribute it to is sunshine, and being after Memorial day. That's the way it is around here, the hint of summer gets everyone going. Going where? Does everyone suddenly have more places to go and things to do?

In New England the answer to those two questions is yes. I grew up in Florida where you can do just about everything all year round. That creates a culture that is more steady and even paced because
there's no rush to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, or gear up or down for other seasons. In New England, everyone gets excited about summertime.

Now we can have a cook out, maybe even go swimming (the water is still very cold), spend the weekend camping, fishing or hiking, go to the zoo, the lake or the beach. All the things we can't do when it's cold or snowing. The arrival of a new season also sends everyone to the store to buy a new bathing suit, garden tools, food for the cook out, swim toys, and whatever else we can think of to enrich our summer experiences. So there's a lot more people rushing about trying to get things done so they can have some fun.

It makes me dizzy!
It might make your kids dizzy too, or hyped up, over excited and acting up a bit. Anticipation and excitement can actually lead to a bit of stress causing misbehavior. So while planning for all the good times to come, remember also to put some space in your plans to deal with the down side of anticipation, which is frustration and irritation when things don't go as planned, for you and your kids.

Stay on the lighter side...
Does traffic irritate you? How about, "Are we there yet?", "When are we going to eat?" or "I have to pee now!"  All this rush to make fun happen can be really not fun at all. However, if we slow down a bit and pretend the season never ends we might find ourselves having more fun in the long run. Here's a few tips to pace yourself and keep the stress to a minimum:

  • Don't over schedule yourself or your kids.
  • Plan your store trips without kids if possible, or with one at a time, or better yet, order online or through a catalog.
  • Plan to leave for a trip during low traffic times like very early AM or late PM.
  • Always pack extra food, snacks & drinks even just for a trip to the store.
  • Keep an emergency coffee can or bucket in the car, as well as wipes and a towel. This comes in handy for a pee emergency or for car sickness.
  • If you don't have a DVD player in your vehicle (or even if you do) at least have kid songs or stories on a CD, handheld games or other distractions for little ones who have a hard time sitting still.
  • Learn some car trip games that keep kids eyes focused outside the car, this is much better for the ones that get car sick, and it also supports more learning and social interaction.
Have fun and don't forget the sunscreen and bug spray! If you have other tips to share please leave a comment.

2 comments:

  1. You brought back memories of my growing up. My situation is the opposite, I grew up in New England and remember the traffic rush after Memorial Day. Now I live in Florida and love the fact we can do great outdoor stuff practically all year round.

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