Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One New Thing

Summer is a special time. It can be a time of flow, during which children and adults experience less structure, more creativity in activities and the time to do something new. In fact, one step in creating a highly connected, cooperative summer with your family is to commit to doing one new thing together.

Remember the Billy Crystal film City Slickers in which a group of guys does something different every year? They ran with the bulls in Pamplona, did some skydiving and went on a cattle drive with Jack Palance. City Slickers was our in-flight film on a trip to France in 1995, and it inspired me to learn to ride horses. Having always loved horses, I had been too afraid of them to ride. The message we got as children was that horseback riding meant certain death. The film inspired me to learn something new and get over my fear. Riding evolved into owning a horse, meeting many terrific people involved with horses and even competing in a few hunter-jumper shows. I did break my hand, AND I’m still here to talk about how much fun it was! It was also something that my husband and I did together and we later introduced our daughter to riding.

Commit to doing something new as a family this summer. Talk about it with your children in a family meeting and decide by consensus what experience you wish to have. From staying at a dude ranch, climbing, or learning to scuba dive or ice skate, your family will create amazing memories as well as build a connected family team. Everyone will feel capable as they learn something new and someone may even discover a new hobby or passion. A decade from now you will be saying, "Do you remember the summer when we did _____?" You fill in the blank!

Explore nineteen other suggestions in Twenty Steps to a Summer that Rocks! Cooperate, Coordinate and Connect while Creating an Amazing Summer, available at our bookstore.

Inspire a family by sharing the experience that you most remember from your childhood summers. Add your comments!

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