(KUTV) Salt Lake City - Summer is the perfect time to reconnect with your kids, but it can also be overwhelming planning out your summer. Nicole Carpenter is an author, speaker, mother, and podcast host. She joined Kari on Fresh Living to share her 5 tips to summer family bonding.
Nicole's 5 Summer Family Bonding Tips:
"1. Summer is a great time to re-establish relationships with our kids. Those of us with school-aged kids have an opportunity to spend more time with our children. Even during this first week of summer, I've noticed an increased bond with my twin boys who just finished first grade. Maybe you have young children still not in school all day. I remember how much I loved the break preschool gave me as an overwhelmed mom. I was terrified for summer! Thankfully, we can take advantage of summer events and programs specific for summer to relieve the stress.
2. Take advantage of planned summer programs. UpliftFamilies.org has a community calendar on their website. Libraries have summer reading programs. Yesterday I took my kids to the library to make a craft and stock up. Various cities often have movie nights or celebration weeks.
3. Have each child make a list of things they'd like to do. Many people call this a Summer Bucket List. I like to call it a Summer Fun List. And as my kids get older, I have them contribute a few things they would like to do. Have them help plan with you. If your child has a specific thing they want to do, have them participate in the planning or packing. This can give them extra, one-on-one time with you.
4. Manage Expectations. Don't bite off more than you can chew! One thing I've learned is a Summer Bucket List can really backfire when you don't consistently check things off the list. "Make it Monday" and "Try it Tuesday" are fun ideas and seem doable on June 1st, but can you keep up with that for 12 more weeks? Some people can. But not me. I prefer to have ideas in my head on Pinterest Board and only clue the kids in to 1 activity a week. Then if each day goes as planned, I can surprise them with things we can do. As a working mom, I've found they would rather know about only 1 really fun day each week and really do it, then know about 5 things that we never got around to doing.
5. The most important thing is that our children know we love them - no matter where we take them, or how much we spend having fun."
About Nicole Carpenter:
Nicole is an author, speaker, and podcast host. Nicole is a contributing writer to Uplift Families and new host for season 3 of The Living Room Podcast. In 2012, Nicole founded MOMentity.com, a blog and online community for women, reaching out to moms in over 7 different countries. She was also a syndicated columnist for 5 years and author of the book “52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family:5-minute messages," published in 2015. Past clients include Chase Bank, Rio Tinto, and Pinners Conference. But all that aside, Nicole's most important role is that of 'mom' to her four kiddos and ‘wife’ to her husband of 14 years. And she may or may not rely on chocolate-covered toffee hidden in the fridge to make it all happen.
You can listen to the Living Room podcast by CLICKING HERE.