Making summer count

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Sam George is the executive director of Parivar International, a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America.  Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation” (www.CoconutGeneration.com). He can be reached at sam@coconutgeneration.com 

By Sam George
Finally, summer is here.  The kids are out of school and parents are continually challenged to keep their kids occupied, or should I say, keep them out of trouble. Some are in summer schools or camps, while others take trips locally and internationally. Kids look forward to their summer breaks and no matter what they do, they are constantly bored and desire to do more.

It is easy for  parents to put things off or make excuses saying that they are busy. May be earlier in the year you promised that when summer came you would take the kids to a museum or air show, but now find yourself making excuses for why you can’t keep those promises. Sure enough there are new projects or unachievable deadlines. Busi-ness is not “as usual” or there are stiffer pressures to meet your summer goals at work.

However, summer holidays come only once a year. We must be intentional in making every summer count. Before we know it, our kids will have gone to college and even get married. When we long to have them around us, they will not be around or will not want to spend time with us. What kids want from us is our time. In short, they want us, not the toys we buy or pleasures we can afford.

It is in the child-rearing years that careers are on the rise and become demanding. We must prioritize what we really want in life, and what gives us satisfaction. It is easy to get carried away with the lure of success, perks and opportunities. Again, I am not saying you must put your careers on hold or throw it away for the sake of kids. All of us could take a few hours or a few days to create some memories in the lives of the next generation.

I have found many parents carrying much guilt and regret as a result of ignoring their children in the child-rearing years. They wish they could revisit those years again and do things for their kids that they could not do the first time around. Of course, that can never be done. Regret only saps the life out of us and enthusiasm for life gets drained out.

Even if you cannot make a trip to India to  visit  your  parents or relatives in the summer, you can plan a vacation with other relatives or friends in America. Again, one need not consider expensive vacations or spending an exorbitant amount of money to  make summer count. We can be creative and come up with solutions that can be very meaningful for the  whole family.

Before you know it, summer will be over and the kids will be back in school. We will all return to a more predictable schedule and another summer will be mere memory. No matter what we do or do not do, we are creating memories for ourselves and our kids. Let’s make them good. Make this summer count for your family!

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