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Life and Religion

The family staycation
Staying at home strengthens bonds
Published Friday, June 22, 2012 11:03 am
by Wesley Carter

Money is tight for most families and the concept of a family vacation is getting harder and harder to transform into reality. It is not necessary to constrain your fun simply because you have a limited budget. Staying at home can be fun and educational for all. A staycation can help your family refocus on what is truly important – each other.

Wesley Carter

The term staycation refers to a dedicated time period to stay at home and relax.

Schedule a specific set of days for your staycation and alert friends and co-workers that you will be unavailable. Share your plans with close family and friends to eliminate any concerns they may have about your unavailability.

Engage your children in planning excursions and activities for your staycation to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable break. Share the budget and work within your means to plan your staycation. Take advantage of local museum and community events that offer free admission or promotional discounts.

There are also several innovative activities to make life more interesting during your staycation. For example, switching bedrooms with the children will enable you to experience your home from a different vantage point. Sleeping in your child’s room may provide insight into their sleeping experience. For example, do they have a bedside lamp and reading material on their nightstand to encourage reading?

• Go on a ride-about. This fun driving activity is interesting for all. Start from home and allow the children to direct you to turn left or right randomly. Ride-abouts provide you with the opportunity to learn more about your community. We tend to be creatures of habit, rarely venturing away from familiar paths. The release of control inherent in a ride-about directed by your children will transform your family into tourists. Be sure to keep a map handy to enable your to find you way back home at the end of your ride-about.

• Close the blinds or the curtains. Commit to game time with the family and discourage distractions. Nothing makes children feel more special than to witness parents making them a priority. Turn off your phone, shut the world out, and spend time with your family.

• Pack a lunch. Collaborate with the children to plan a menu and take a picnic with you on your family excursions. Locate interesting recipes and prepare meals together. In addition to saving money, packing lunch will provide your family with the flexibility of eating when and where you choose.

• Exercise and explore outdoors. More than 25 percent of Americans struggles with obesity. Get physical with your family. If the weather permits, get outside and walk, run, and bike. Play kickball and allow the memories of your own childhood to flood your brain with endorphins. Go to the local park for a lively game of tennis, dodge ball, or basketball.

• Campout. Camp in the backyard and tell ghost stories. Fill your days and nights with interesting and enjoyable activities. Stock up on flashlight batteries and explore your backyard. Local parks may also have campgrounds available at little or no cost to you.

• Read and learn. Allocate a portion of everyday to reading and learning. Visit your local library and checkout books, movies, and music. Open your mind to new experiences and commit to growing your intelligence and exposure.

The key to a good staycation is to break your routine. Open yourselves up to creating new adventures and pleasant memories. Take plenty of pictures and challenge yourselves to make next year’s staycation even more interesting. Shucks! Why wait until next year? Schedule regular mini-staycations to remind yourselves of how much you enjoy each other’s company.

Wesley Carter D.Mgt. provides guidance to parents committed to raising intellectually competent, emotionally mature and socially responsible leaders. Email questions to wesley@kidsbycarter.com. Visit www.kidsbycarter.com and follow on Twitter @kidsbydrcarter.


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