Building bonds is important for families in recovery. Moms, especially, can take time to teach kids some ways to enjoy life while staying away from triggers. Even kids can learn at a certain age how to have fun but also keep focused on building family unity. Quality time helps rebuild a peaceful, joyful space that may have been missing when the mom or caregiver was addicted to substances. Give these five family activities a try this summer.
Build a List
If the kids are old enough, ask for their input. Gather ideas and put a list together that helps create opportunities to play that everyone will love. Schedules, interests, and ideas will dictate this to some degree but set some realistic goals. Think about what would be fun, set a budget, and look for ways to give everyone a chance to do something they might like. Let them each write some things down then collect it into one master list. Make it a point to hit something off everyone’s list each week so they get a chance to feel special.
One of the coolest places kids love to hang out in is a water park or amusement park. They can provide hours of fun for kids, but it may be difficult if for little kids who cannot yet swim. Check into splash pads for little ones or parks with areas for little kids that also let the big kids have fun. There are also indoor/outdoor parks that can be easier to keep an eye on kids as they run around. Check online to look for places and check local papers or magazines to see what they recommend for local fun. Libraries often offer great tips and even discounts to visit places in the area.
Outdoor Theatre and Concerts
Check out opportunities by local nonprofit organizations for weekly concerts and theatre experiences. Lots of arts organizations offer free or low-cost events outside that can be fun and exciting for big and little kids, alike. Check schedules to see when they offer performances that might appeal to all the kids in your family. There is usually something for all ages. Compromise so every kid gets to experience something they are interested in.
Mini Golf, Arcades and More
Be sure to check out mini-golf courses and arcades with kids who love to play. It is fun, with a competitive edge, while still being family-oriented. Options depend on kids’ interests and ages but most kids can find something they love to do at an all-inclusive space with arcades, bowling, mini-golf, and more.
A night in can be a fun way to keep kids entertained without spending a lot of money. Gather up their favorite snacks and put some hot dogs on the grill. Make something special out of it while keeping it sober if you invite family to share the fun. Get out sleeping bags and let them set up camp with a movie. Think about childhood favorites to share with kids, letting each kid pick their own and having their choice for that night. Make a pizza with toppings and let kids help. It may be fun to do ice cream sundaes, as well, or even try making your own. The ideas are limitless, but the point is to have sober fun while creating memories on a budget.
Volunteer as a Family
Volunteering together is a way to build bridges and bond with one another while sharing in some good, sober times. Older kids might enjoy working on building houses for people who are less fortunate. Habitat 4 Humanity offers great opportunities but many local charities often provide space to help those with less. Help clean out garage spaces for elderly neighbors or volunteer with animals. One way to make it fun is to ask older kids where they want to serve and what they might want to do. Serve some other sober families who need help, get involved in a spiritually-based volunteer group, or simply do some good things for others in the neighborhood. The goal is to spend time together, have fun, and share some time helping others.
It can feel difficult to make these activities fun. After a while, it can be difficult to come up with ideas. Let older kids help decide how to help others, plan activities, and create sober fun. Let the children help create a schedule and build it into the week. If summer is time off for kids, make sure they do chores first to earn some privileges for special things like going to the water park or one-time trips that cost a bit more money. They will appreciate it more if they have to earn it and also have more fun doing it.
Don’t disconnect from sober companions and community. Having kids to keep occupied can be difficult while focusing on recovery. Don’t let yourself slip because you feel over consumed with taking care of the family. There are great opportunities to connect with families as a sober mother. Take them with you to recovery family events and activities or plan your own. Don’t let it deter your personal sobriety. Stay focused, connected, and, most of all, sober, while planning and enjoying family activities.
Casa Capri is designed for women who are struggling with addiction to find hope and a purpose. Our model is designed to help women feel connected to themselves and their families while in treatment, then recovery. We provide aftercare services to support your healing journey going forward. Call us to get started: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon is the founder and CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, a leading California addiction treatment center created just for women—by women. Melissa is a licensed clinician and has stayed on the cutting edge of women’s treatment since 2006. Because of her own beautiful recovery story, she is proud to be among a small group of trailblazers since founding Casa Capri Recovery for Women in 2011, leading the way for other women to join them in this otherwise male-dominated industry. She is considered an advocate for the recovery community in the truest sense, standing up to discrimination and legally fighting for the rights of sober people in recovery to live in peace. To learn more about advocacy or if you’ve experienced discrimination, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out casacaprirecovery.com for more information on our program, or please give us a call at 844-207-4880.