Fredericksburg Parent

June 2014

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32 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • June 2014 BY ELAINE STONE family values LIST S ummer is upon us. To children, it goes on forever, yet parents know the few weeks will end quickly. Days will come and go without moments being seized. Wise parents capitalize on the pre- cious time afforded with their young ones. Way too soon, their independence will arise, and these summer minutes will be a memory. Seize this Summer. Akin to a Bucket List, help children make a summer Dream List. This can be done during the last weeks of school or the first day of vacation. Depending on age, parents will need to give assistance. This list is their top 10 (or whatever number you des- ignate) things they want to do this summer. Start with parameters, or lists could get out of hand. Kids can really dream. Guide their decisions to meet your family budget, schedule and resources. You may want to stick with things around town, in the neighborhood, or within 50 miles. Set price boundaries like under $10 or free. Time boundaries may be necessary—doable in one day/eve- ning or Saturday. Get them started: some children will need ideas. Most children are used to time being scheduled for them and haven't dreamed up a list of their own. Recommend that they think of things they like to do, but seem to never have enough time for. For example, riding bikes, play dates with friends, sleepovers, the pool, visiting animals (SPCA or nearby farm), go caving or read a specific book or series. One May, my daughter, struggling with her commitment to gymnastics, decided to take the summer off. I told her, CAPITALIZE ON TIME It will give an organized place to achieve. The old saying, "if you aim at nothing, you will surely hit it," comes to mind. It gives tangible targets, alleviating regrets of nothing accomplished. LIST Dream Goals of a Summer Dream List A SENSE OF INDEPENDENCE The child is taking control of some of his time and given the oppor- tunity to pursue something of his choosing. They will relish marking accomplishments off their list and gain a sense of satisfaction of liv- ing out a dream. It is a great self-esteem boost for children to dream, plan, accomplish. A parent's dream of doing something special with children will be realized. Big plans swirl in the mind of parent's at summer's onset. Yet, often summer glides away into fall.

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