When we think of the celebrating the fourth of July we think of fireworks, barbecue in the back yard, parades, but mostly we think of family. Family is at the heart of all holidays, and everyone has a story about how they celebrated the 4th of July as a child. Making a blueberry pie with your grandmother or your favorite uncle spiking the watermelon, these stories sustain us and are retold to our children.
Times have changed and many of us don’t live close to family anymore. There is more isolation, and we miss that connectedness especially when we’ve endured a chaotic year with loses like this past year. The 4th of July is a wonderful time for families to come together and instill the hope for generations to come. Creating a summertime 4th of July memory for your child is a wonderful way to add sparkle to your holiday and feel close with your family. I have 4 suggestions that can help.
1. Host a get together with family. If your family is close make plans to host a barbeque in the back yard, or at a park. Do what you can and ask for help if your family is large. For families that have suffered a loss this past year, having old photos on the host table can help bring back good memories you can all share together.
2. Talk about your family history to your grandchildren. Most families have someone who served in the military. This is a perfect time to talk about the importance of these family members and what they do for our country. Reminding your children of relatives who were brave and valued freedom helps your children feel connected and proud of where they come from.
3. Have a project to build memories. Whether it’s making strawberry and blueberry shortcake, or another special 4th of July traditional treat, when children cook old recipes with their parents or grandparents, they are learning the importance of working together and showing love by serving others. Plus, they create a finished project that helps children boost confidence.
4. Mentor for your children how the family relies on each other to survive. We all need each other and nowhere is that better taught than at home. Each person has a place and a job and when children feel that what they contribute matters they feel closer. Giving your child a task or chore to do is so important to their wellbeing. It can be as simple as setting the table, passing out desserts, or picking up dirty dishes.
The family is the backbone of our community and country. Keeping it strong and celebrating the family bond you all share can help you survive tough times. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be real.