Take a Family Summer Vacation — and Sneak in Some Valuable Life Lessons While You’re at It
Going on a family summer vacation? Have a great time — and work on building your kid’s social and emotional skills without their even realizing it. Here are five easy ways to sneak a little summer learning into your family’s summer fun.
Take five (hammock optional)
Builds patience and focus
Ready, set, relax: Take five minutes to lie down outside, stare at the clouds and just listen with your kids. Afterward, ask them what they saw in the clouds and what sounds they heard that were different from what they hear back home.
Meet new kids
Builds manners, sharing and friendship skills
Encourage your kid to make new friends (and model making time for yourself while you’re at it): If you’re staying at a resort with a kids’ club, drop off your child for a few hours. Visiting family or friends? Introduce your kid to long-lost cousins or friends’ children — and remind them to greet them by name and share toys.
Try something different
Builds courage and grit
Practice being brave by heeding the call of new vacation adventures: Do something with your family that’s a bit outside your collective comfort zone — go down the waterslide, try the zip line, go camping, sample the gator jerky.
Builds kindness and friendship skills
Teach your kid to think of others: Let them pick out a few postcards for close relatives and pals back home and write a couple of sentences on each. If your child is too young to write on their own, have them dictate to you what they want to say, then sign the postcard.
Give choices and take turns
Builds self-awareness, flexibility and patience
Divvy up the fun: Let each family member pick out something they want to listen to in the car, somewhere they want to eat, and something they want to do on vacation. Remind your kid that everyone gets their chance and to honor each person’s choice by being respectful until their turn comes up.