11) Try “Happy, sad, funny”: Before bed have each family member tell one thing that they experienced that day that was happy, one thing that was sad, and one thing that was funny. This is something that especially young children enjoy, and it helps remind them of their day and helps them be reflective about it. Also, it brings the family together and helps build understanding between each of the members of the family.
12) Encourage journaling: Get everyone a book. Youngers can dictate to parents or older siblings. Writing helps solidify memories and helps us appreciate aspects of the experience that may have otherwise been overlooked. Writing also helps us be more reflective, and then our experiences take on more depth.
13) Make small scrapbooks: Keep it simple. You don’t need a lot of stuff. Everyone in the family can make a little summer scrapbook of their own or just one together with little mementos, pictures, thoughts, etc. which can be shared with the whole family at the end of the summer.
14) Don’t overbook summer! Busyness is a disease of our time. It robs us of our experiences, our memories, our joy, and our opportunities to learn. This is a tricky obstacle because it is the air we breathe. But perhaps we can filter out this air, with God’s help, and live better. It all comes back to prayer and gratitude. Reach for what God is calling you to, don’t try to reach for everything!
Sincere thanks to my friend Julie Hoijarvi and her beautiful family, for all their sweet memories, and all those yet to come.
Kathleen M. Berchelmann, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and a mother of five young children. Connect with Dr. Berchelmann at: KathleenBerchelmannMD.com