Going about our busy lives, we brave daily the challenges of adulthood, parenthood, and livelihood. For the sake of our families, we will confront any foe, dispute any injustice, and dedicate our lives to working overtime. Ah, but these are not the things we’ll remember most. Families are built and bonded with love, the kind of love that sticks beyond the spitballs and hair-pulling years. They’re tied by the special and FUN memories they share together.
Family outings are one of the best investments you can make with your time – and often with very little expense. Remember the excitement of outdoor picnics, scenic road trips, weekend sporting events, and long, magical summers spent swimming at the lake, playing volleyball, climbing rocks, catching frogs, and hiking through the woods.
When we commit early to spending quality, active time together as a family, we are strengthening our relationships with each other, while creating many happy memories. However, we are also establishing lifelong, healthy habits our children will take with them into adulthood. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Start children off in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.” This can apply both spiritually and physically – we train our children first in the walk of God; we can also train them toward leading a healthy lifestyle.
This summer, when you participate with your family in sports, outdoor games and other physical activities, you are helping your kids build strength, coordination, and heart-health. Physical exercise will also help your kids avoid obesity, and has been known to improve their self-confidence, social skills, and mental clarity. Great news for struggling young students!
It has often been said that laughter is the best medicine, a maxim inspired by Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” There is nothing as beautiful as a child’s laughter. Take the time to make your children laugh this summer. Make playtime a priority. Get outside, get involved, and exercise! It’s a fun way to spend time with your family, and a sincere, outward expression of your love and dedication. You’ll be starting your children on the road to a healthy, active, and happy life. And you’ll be making special family memories your children will always treasure.
Summer is a great time at the YMCA of Greater Birmingham. Here, families socialize, kids splash and people of all ages learn and grow together. The Y is more than a gym. It’s a gathering place that strengthens the community, inside and out. Join the YMCA of Greater Birmingham online at ymcabham.org/join.
–YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org