Kids are forward-looking folks – that is, they’re always looking ahead to the next thing. Waiting doesn’t come easy. But that same sense of anticipation can be a source of fun, when you channel it in the right direction!
Use some down time this summer to help your kids build anticipation for the coming school year by asking them to a create a list of what they look forward to (finally) being able to do. In some cases, you may need to remind them of the thresholds they’ll be crossing as they step into a new grade level or reach the maturity or skill level to tackle something previously out of reach for them.
A “This is the Year” list can also be a place for setting goals. You child may decide they want to work at learning or achieving something during the coming school year. Posting their “This is the Year” list on the fridge or family bulletin board can provide added incentive to make those goals a reality.
You can even encourage them to add a special family vacation or outing that you have planned to their list. In fact, their list may even inspire you to plan an outing.
This is the Year lists could include:
– A skill they’re ready to learn (like riding a two-wheeled bicycle)
– A group, team, or activity they’re old enough to join (like the school band)
– A milestone they will achieve (First Communion, graduation to middle school/junior high)
– A trip they have been looking forward to
– An addition to the family, through birth or adoption or marriage
– A school event they get to participate in
Want to give your kids a head start? Scan through their list for an idea of something new to try before the summer is over. Or gather supplies and make other preparations that will move your child closer to the realization of one item on the list.
Don’t forget to join in the fun, Mom. You can (and should) make your own list of what you have to look forward to in the months to come. Could this be the year you go back to school part time for that degree you wanted to get? Or perhaps your children will have grown into a stage that allows you the opportunity to try a new volunteer position. Consider other ways you might stretch and grow as a person – through a sport, a physical activity, a new hobby. Or this year’s adventure might involve joining a new club or group in your neighborhood.
It’s time to build some anticipation. Because this is the year!
Lara Krupicka is a mother of three and the author of Family Bucket Lists: Bring More Fun Adventure & Camaraderie Into Every Day. Lara blogs about family life and adventures at larakrupicka.com.