Just a few weeks ago, I met up with my fellow SoMoms for an early morning strat plan session facilitated by Coach Pia Acevedo of The One Core. There were maybe 12 of us in attendance, and we talked over doughnuts and coffee at J.CO Megamall.
As soon as the mall opened, we transferred to Dads where we had a function room prepared for us. Coach Pia instructed us all to load up our plates and be back in the room within 10 minutes so that we could continue on to an uninterrupted #BetterMe session.
I haven’t been to Dads in years, and I’d forgotten how extensive their buffet offerings are! Seriously, they’ve got all the dishes you can find at a hotel buffet, and then some. Sushi and sashimi, salads, tempura, Brazilian BBQ, steak, turkey, lechon, huge selection of desserts, and a WHOLE LOT more. Beverages such as sodas, fresh fruit shakes, and even Milo are all included in the buffet price.
Too bad I was avoiding meat due to a failed blood test, and had to content myself with seafood. Salmon sashimi was fresh, and as for the hot dishes, I loved the mussels and squid in coconut milk the most!
Mara Villavicencio, managing director of the Triple-V Group, was there to meet the SoMoms, and she told us that Dads is a hit especially among folks who have friends or family visiting from abroad. I’m not surprised, because for as little as P588 per person, balikbayans get to enjoy lechon everyday plus so much more. The Dads buffet is really great value for money.
Now,on to what I learned from Coach Pia…
In case you’re wondering what a #BetterMe session is, it’s basically a life improvement workshop focusing on a specific topic, and it’s just one of the privileges of being a SoMom! The sessions are made possible through the hard work of Your Brand Story and the generosity of our sponsors.
For this particular session, our major sponsor was Unilab, aka the biggest pharmaceutical company in the Philippines. So grateful to the companies that support our workshops! Thank you Unilab!
The topic for our session was How to Plan a Meaningful Summer with Your Family, and I wanted to get this post up right away since summer is almost upon us.
As a child, my mom would enroll me in a lot of activities I didn’t particularly enjoy, and some I downright hated. Ballet, in the hope of making me more graceful. Piano, which my sisters and I had to study for years because it was our mom’s dream to have an expert piano player for a daughter. And swimming, which turned out to be the most traumatic. My mom put me in the hands of a swimming teacher who believed in throwing kids into the pool, and they would supposedly float on their own without ever having tried. I remember being terrified. I threw up in the pool that first day, and from then on and for many years later, whenever I smelled chlorine I would start to cry.
Now, my mom wasn’t some kind of terror, she was actually a really great mom. It’s just that the moms of her generation didn’t believe much in giving kids the freedom to choose their own activities because parents know best. But now that I’m a mom myself, the last thing I want for my kids is rigid summer vacations devoid of any fun. And thankfully, Coach Pia has given me the information I need to make summer both meaningful and fun for my family. Here are some of her tips:
WHEN PLANNING A SUMMER ACTIVITY FOR YOUR KIDS, KEEP IN MIND THAT IT’S ABOUT THEM, NOT ABOUT YOU. So forget for a minute what you would like them to be good at, or what you yourself would like to do if you were in their shoes. Instead, try asking your child questions and then really listen to what the has to say, even if he is only 2 years old. Here are some sample questions:
- What do you think you would feel if _____?
- What do you guess it might be like to _____?
- What would you do if _____ happened?
IF YOU HAVE SEVERAL CHILDREN, IT’S BEST TO CHOOSE A UNIQUE ACTIVITY FOR EACH CHILD. Connect with each of your children and find out where their unique interests and talents lie. Try not to enroll them all in one generic summer class just because it’s the most convenient option. Enrolling them in separate classes or activities will also make it easier for you to avoid comparing your kids with one another.
NEVER BRIBE ( OR “REWARD”) YOUR CHILDREN JUST TO GET THEM TO TRY AN ACTIVITY. If they are at all interested in something, the experience will be its own reward.
ASIDE FROM SUMMER CLASSES, SET ASIDE TIME FOR FAMILY FUN AT LEAST 3-4 X A WEEK. Engage in a recreational activity that the whole family can enjoy, ideally once a week. Have a picnic, go on a road trip, go see a movie, or enjoy a meal at one of your favorite restaurants. And always remember that as a mom, your mood sets the tone for the entire family. So set your worries aside and enjoy each others’ company during this special family time.
ALLOCATE THE APPROPRIATE TIME & ENERGY FOR BOTH YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR SELF. In other words, do not spread yourself too thin. You have to take care of yourself too, and you should never feel guilty about it.
SIMPLIFY. If things have been stressful lately, keep in mind that the answer to many family problems is to SIMPLIFY. If your kids have been overbooked with activities and playdates to the point of exhaustion, or if you simply need a break, SIMPLIFY. In other words, stay home with nothing big planned, instead of planning road trips or trips abroad for every long weekend or holiday.
PLAN AHEAD. This isn’t just for summer but for the whole year. Try listing down all the family events for every quarter of the year, and from there you can see which months are more flexible for vacations or other special activities, and which months are already jampacked. This way your family can make the most of each month and avoid overscheduling, too.
I hope these tips help you and your family in making the most of the upcoming summer break! Thank you again to Coach Pia, The One Core, Unilab, Dads, and Your Brand Story for this learning experience.
COACH PIA, http://www.facebook.com/CoachPia
THE ONE CORE, http://www.theonecore.com