A focus on relationships can make it the best summer ever!

By Mary Tabak, Our Kids Network Developmental Assets Manager

Some of the best family memories are made during the summer months. With a little bit of planning and a little bit of luck, the summer of 2016 can be one those summers that you talk about all year long.

So, what’s the magic recipe? There is no such thing. Every family has unique characters, special circumstances and interesting challenges and strengths. However, the summer of 2013, our best so far, did have a few guiding principles that helped us find our way.

First, we re-visited some old traditions. You know, those things that you did when the kids were young….but haven’t done in a long time. We used to visit our local farms regularly until the kids became “too cool” for that. Going to Springridge Farm for lunch and spending an afternoon, brought back old memories and stories, and a flicker of childhood past. We also pulled out some of our favourite children’s stories and opened the pool with an underwear swim. What started out as eyes rolling backwards, turned into a lot of good, affordable fun. 

Secondly, we decided together, and early, where we were going on our vacation. Everyone had input and everyone’s needs were taken into account. We ended up in Europe. Our historian could explore, our athlete could climb mountains, our socialite had lots of cousins to get to know and my husband and I could relax by the coast. Ahh!

Lastly, we focused on celebrating the people in our lives. Every kid hosted a party, including the adult ones. We made intentional efforts to re-connect with friends and family locally and with those a little farther away. We visited people we knew in nursing homes and took younger nieces and nephews in to get a break from their parents.

It was our best summer ever – a lot of down time and a celebration of the things that matter most….memories, passions and people. Use these ideas, or share your own with friends, co-workers or clients. Let’s make the most out of our great Canadian summers.

There’s always something great happening in Halton! Unique festivals and events for the whole family to get you started. 

Spending time together having fun builds strong relationships!

What families do together to build strong relationships in their everyday lives is the foundation for children developing the character strengths they need for success in school, work, and life, according to a new national study from Search Institute.