Shared Experiences

Better than any material object, shared experiences make a family strong and happy.  The experience starts with the planning stage.  What do we want to do?  What's something that everyone will enjoy?  What do we have to do to prepare?  Shared planning builds enthusiasm and excitement for the event.

Think developmentally when planning an event.  Most of our least successful family events were caused by planning events that didn't include all members or didn't account for family members' ages and development.  For example, little children are satisfied with very low-key, family centered events such as a day at a local park, zoo, beach or museum.  They also enjoy a multi-day trip when it's planned for their interests and ages allowing them to get their naps, regular meals and enough sleep.

After the planning, there's time for saving money, reading about the event, and putting items aside that you'll bring with you.  The anticipation is part of the fun.

When the trip comes around, know that it won't go exactly as planned -- that's the only given.  There are always changes along the way to accommodate family members' needs and interests.  Make sure that you've planned something for everyone, and let it happen.  Shared experiences provide families with memories that last a lifetime.  You'll find that the best events are repeated again and again.

What shared experiences have been most successful for your family?  What events do you family members look forward to each year?  I'll post some of our family favorites soon.

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