Planning Wholesome Family Recreation

*Post is written in behalf of my Family100 college class. Quotes and material found from Successful Marriages and Families Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives, Chapter 22, Wholesome Family Recreation.

Something I can say we do right in our family is spending time together. We have had some really great “wholesome family recreation” time!

“Research indicates that varied and meaningful recreation promotes positive identity development. Parents should consider the value of providing varied recreation experiences for their children.” (Ch. 22)

Have you ever thought about that? The activities that you choose to do together will be a huge part of your childs development and interests! No pressure right? But it really should make you, the parents, more excited! You have such a great responsibility to shape this little person, so make it fun!

“Parents who push children to do just one activity, like baseball or dance, may limit opportunities for their children to grow and play.” (Ch. 22)

What can we do to make sure Emilie is well rounded and has the chance to find her interests? Here’s some activities that I thought of:

Music Concert, Orchestra, Live Theater, Musical, Biking, Dance, Yoga, Rock Climbing, Camping, Hiking, Water skiing, Boating, Canoe/Kayak, Snorkeling, Basketball, Tennis, Volleyball, Track, Going on walks, Many other sports!, Ski/Snowboard, Ice-skate, Zoo, Farm, Childrens Museum, Aquarium, City, Country, Ocean, Desert, etc, etc.

The list goes on and on…

I have to admit, I get pretty excited imagining Emilie trying out all these activities for the first time! It’s like when she ate her first solid food, or when she saw her first dog, or went swimming for the first time… Priceless.

Reflecting on my own personal childhood, I have one regret, and that’s that I didn’t find Yoga sooner in my life. Ed and I talk about how important it is that every person has at least one physical activity that they enjoy. Even the bookworms or the computer techies, for the love of health and long life span, we all need something, even if it’s just simply walking! I spent all of my early years trying to find a sport that I liked. I thought I wasn’t good at sports but what it really came down to was that  I did not like to compete with others. Because of this, I stayed away from a lot of activities and my weight suffered because of that.

But now, being in my mid 20’s, I have found out that I can compete with myself. I WISH I had found yoga back then, or marathon’s or rock climbing. Solo sports I guess you could say. Things would have been so different. So that is why I promise that I will help my daughter explore all avenues to find what she likes and what she wants to stick with. I must remember that I am a role model to her. That is why it is called “family recreation” I think, because the children will watch their parents during these activities, as the quote below follows…

“… the habits children develop early in their lives stay with them and are difficult to change… youth observe their parents’ behavior in sports programs and often mimic the behavior when they engage in sports programs on their own. Parents interested in helping their children become flexible and curious should spend quality playtime with them and model good sportsmanship, kindness, and fair play. Time spent playing with children also helps them become more secure and independent.” (Ch. 22)

The last bit of advice from me personally is to sit down at the beginning of the year (it’s our tradition) and plan out a family vacation and a couple vacation (without the kids). This year our big family vacation was to Seattle, Washington. Our couple vacation was to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. Once those are scheduled and budgeted away then you are free to make little trips and activities close to home throughout the year. For us that included Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Yellowstone National Park. Pumpkin patches, Montana trips, Utah trips, Idaho camping, walks to the park, city events, college concerts, etc.

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