By Jaimi Erickson
Contributing Writer

The rush to sign up for summer camps is in full swing! This summer, my family is moving to our forever location, but first… we are living in our RV. My focus is to enjoy slower days that we spend together because I know this season of retirement transition is not going to last forever.  

Before long, we will have full schedules again and a home that needs our attention. But, for now, our summer vacation with the kids is all about a slower pace and quality time together.  

One of the benefits of spending time together is that we are also reducing the number of summer camps our children are enrolled in, which can save money. It also provides us valuable extra time together. We only get 18 summers with our children to build a lasting relationship with them. Summer break is an invitation to lean into that opportunity. 

Simple quality time during summer isn’t about being a Pinterest-perfect parent or a cruise director, it’s about creating intentional time together. 

Time really does fly. My oldest child will be 18 in two years. No one has ever told me that children grow too slowly. Instead, they say cherish the time, because it goes by so fast. The window of time I have with my children gets smaller every year, whether I want it to or not.  

If you want to get more time with your children, there are simple ways to fill your summer break. Following are activities that build the parent-child relationship: 

  • Play basketball in the driveway while dinner cooks.  
  • Learn a line dance on YouTube together. 
  • Wash and dry dishes together while singing to songs on Alexa. 
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner.  
  • Head to a coffee shop and each bring a book. 
  • Set up a family bracket and play cornhole. 

For more ideas, these 55+ activities for parents and kids to do together during summer vacation are so easy to try.. Also, there are many ideas for family summer activities on SpouseLink. You can also find summer activities for teens and tweens that are great for older kids. 

Between the major events of the days there are the gaps where I really build relationships with my kids. Kids open up during our rides together to run errands. They will talk about their day in the moments when we are busily cleaning up dinner to get outside and make smore’s together. 

The kids insert themselves in those transitions, and instead of wishing the chatter away, I make myself pay attention. Those sometimes-unnoticed conversations reveal so much. Our children do talk to us when we are willing to listen, but we must pay attention.  

This summer I am focusing on enjoying the days rather than filling up the time. And remember, your true value as a parent is your time with your family, so be sure to take care of them while you can with military spouse life insurance to ensure everyone stays on solid ground now and into the future. It’ll be here before you know it. 

About Jaimi Erickson

Jaimi is a mom of 4, military wife, and writer. She blogs about motherhood, kids activities and homemaking tips at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

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