Family Fun Time!

by Diane Sweeney on August 5, 2013

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Coordinating schedules with college aged and adult children gets to be quite the mathematical equation, especially if distance is involved. 

Your children now have responsibilities to jobs, friends and roommates, and possibly significant others. It’s not quite as easy as it was when you were in charge of the calendar and everyone’s schedule and could coordinate their play dates around your family functions, needs, and vacations. 

Yet family fun time together is still very important to maintain those close connections to one another.  Your children are changing into new and fascinating people, and you want to know and understand who they are, what they do, and who they hang around with! They may not understand this need you have, but with maturity they will know it is because you care about who they are as human beings. 

Demanding time together is not a way to making it work, but creating a platform of coordinated scheduling is possible with some simple steps. 

For those of us who are used to bring out the calendar and ‘letting everyone know’ what was going on, it’s time to take a step back and let everyone in on the planning.

 

  1. Your children are truly now adults with their own lives. Respect their space, schedule, and their ability to discern what is important for them to attend. Remember, you sowed the seeds, now just let them take root.
  2. If you are a large family, with many functions on the calendar – share the calendar! There are many resources, such as Google calendar or the iPhone app that allow you to share your calendar. Have one just for your family. That way your selected members can check in to see what his going on any given weekend and even let you know right there on the calendar if they will be able to join you.
  3. If there is some event that is very important to you, let them know that. Not by demanding their presence, but by telling them, as you would a friend. ‘I know there are a lot of family functions this summer, but if you can only attend one, Aunt Sadie’s 90th birthday is the one I would really love to share most with you.” Simple statement – and then just let what happens, happen.
  4. Ask your son or daughter what event, concert or day might be important for them to share with you. They may not know how to ‘ask’ you just yet, but if you open the door, they might tell you about an event at their school or in the new town they are living in that they think you would enjoy. Listen and explore what they are doing these days; try something different – it could be fun and even kick off a new family tradition!
  5. Know that your first year college student will approach this much differently than your graduated son or daughter with a full time job. One may still be focused on creating the friend relationships necessary, while the other is a bit more ready and grounded to develop the next level of relationship with you. Allow for flexibility as they grow into themselves over the next few years.
  6. If a full blown family vacation is not possibly because of time and financial constraints, have one family fun day – a beach day, an amusement park adventure, a picnic at a favorite spot, or canoeing or kayaking together. Focus for that one day on having fun together. No lessons need to be taught or deep questions need to be answered. Just enjoy!

 

Our family just had a fun day at Six Flags Amusement Park this past weekend! It was a day that was on and off the calendar all summer due to weather and job responsibilities. Yet we all knew we wanted it to happen… and we finally coordinated to share the experience and laughter together! (And they even got me to ride all the roller coasters that I never would try! What a blast!)

 

How do you coordinate getting everyone together? Leave a comment below! You might spark new ideas for others in our Get Focused on Living community!

 

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