Day 3: Positive Parenting Series
One day I was in the grocery store parking lot with my kids. We were just out running errands and my son suddenly got really excited. “Oh look, wow! I saw one of those in a movie once! I would LOVE do that sometime.” I must have looked rather confused as I looked at where he was pointing- in the direction of the grocery store and a liquor store, because my son said, “you know, that thing people put money in and talk into?” Oh! The pay phone! I hadn’t singled it out as something fun and different because pay phones where everywhere when I was a kid. For my kids, calling someone on the pay phone was an exciting adventure.
Some of the best and most memorable adventures may not happen exactly when we plan or when they’re convenient for us. There are SO many possibilities if we keep our eyes open as we’re going about our everyday lives. Obviously not everything is practical or likely to happen, but there are a lot of things you CAN do with very little money, time or effort.
Finding something unusual that stands out from everyday life can be made into an adventure that creates wonderful memories and helps your our family.
When I was a kid, my dad took us on adventures where we would hop on the freeway and just follow (what we thought) was just a random car. Then my dad would say, “they’re going to slow or they’re too yellow, or something else and we would choose another car to follow. They were all heading the same direction for the most part so it worked out pretty well. My dad usually had a plan of where we were going but just getting there and feeling like we were on a surprise journey was really fun!
So much of kids life is structured anymore and I love it when we find something out of the “norm” to do and experience.
Five things to keep in mind when looking for adventures.
1- It doesn’t have to be huge or complicated.
2- Take a minute and just enjoy it! The whole point is to have a few minutes with your family outside of your everyday routine. It’s okay to take a bit of time here and there.
3- It might not be on your schedule- but that’s the whole point! Yes, there are times we really can’t stop and take ten minutes for something, but there are many times we can if we will.
4- Realize there will be different outcomes. Like the rest of life, some experiences may end up being fabulous while others are not. That’s okay! Some of my kids’ favorite adventures to remember are totally different from what we had planned or just felt like a flop at the time- but the memories can often be awesome!
For example, once we had an activity planned but ended up sitting and watching these hilarious birds fight over a sandwich, then watched the winner choke on it. Really stuck- like he could’ve been a cartoon with his neck poking out around it. “See- he should’ve shared!” To this day (several years later), my kids still refer to this when they’re having a hard time sharing- or just want a laugh.
5- You don’t have to leave home to have an awesome adventure! Experiment in the kitchen, explore your backyard, or learn about something new together.
Are you ready to look for everyday adventures? Enjoy!