By Josh Kissee, Manbuilders.com

The summer season is a time every boy longs for. The joy of swimming, backyard fun, water fights, summer camps, BBQ’s, downtime from school, family vacations, and overall summer boredom busting shapes this time before the hurried pace of the school season returns in the fall.  

Why not broaden your son’s world and provide fun and educational opportunities in the mix?

Acculturation is the process by which an individual learns about the traditional content of other cultures and assimilates its practices and values. – Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Why should you  broaden your son’s world this summer?

  • It helps him understand practices in other cultures.
  • It reduces the potential for him believing his culture is better than someone else’s (ethnocentrism). This is very important in the United States!
  • It expands his knowledge while “entertaining” him with activities during the summer.

There’s no better time than now to assess the values which are worthy of my time and effort. – Tom Seale

Did you hear that? 

There is no better time than Today to assess the cultural perspective which should be placed into your son. Your son should have a well-rounded understanding of culture and cultural groups during our present time and in history. Just because it won’t make him scream with joy (like visiting a water park), it doesn’t mean we should avoid it.

Ready to get Started?  Take action now and broaden your son’s world.

So how do you do this?

Here are ideas for activities/field trips to help the acculturation process.

  1. Visit an art museum.
  2. Take a tour of a historic site.  
  3. Visit a museum of natural history.
  4. Tour a science museum.
  5. Plan a trip to the children’s museum.
  6. Visit a military history museum.
  7. Walk through antique shops or flea markets and review the articles of the past.alamo artifacts
  8. Visit a state park and go on a history walk with a park guide.
  9. Visit a historic downtown area.
  10. Walk through a college campus with a guided tour.

Tips for good acculturation experiences that broaden your son’s world: 

Start by understanding what boys like. They are pretty simple creatures really.

  • Food and lots of it.
  • Leisure activities.
  • Games.

When planning your trip, consider how you can place things your son enjoys into the trip. I’ll share a personal example.

Our Recent Acculturation Experience

The ManBuilders crew had the privilege of vacationing in San Antonio, Texas this year. While the highlight of the trip was enjoying a day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and floating the Comal River, we built some acculturate activities into our vacation. We visited The Alamo.

We had attempted to visit The Alamo in the past. In fact, our boys behaved badly and my wife and I decided to cancel the rest  of the trip. It was terrible! So much so that “remember the Alamo” took on a whole new meaning for our family that symbolized the parental resolve to cancel something when our boys get out of line.

Not this year. This year we made the trip work. What we did different.

Tip #1 – Build the “fun thing” after your cultural event

In a previous year, we had went to Six Flags on a Monday and then attempted The Alamo on a Tuesday. Wrong! This year, Six Flags depended on our boys’ behavior at The Alamo. We visited The Alamo late Sunday afternoon and then Six Flags came the next day. Needless to say their behavior was excellent at The Alamo! We even waited in line for 30 minutes to get in.

Tip #2 – Bring snacks and take breaks

Get your backpack and grab healthy snacks. We have a backpack fits all of our water bottles, snack packs, and sweets. This reduces the temptation to buy snacks for outrageous prices in the gift shops and gives us the ability to strike down those hunger pains and helps the kids “get through” the experience a little easier. If your children start to misbehave or get restless, take a break! Go outside and give them snacks. At The Alamo, our bag had Capri Sun packs to get vitamins and sugar into the blood stream.

The Manbuilder's Crew

The Manbuilder’s Crew

Tip #3 – Have a Treat After the Event

We really enjoy when McDonald’s puts their Vanilla Ice Cream cones on special during for $.49. This is a super cheap reward. You don’t have to tell your children that you will take them for a treat after your place of acculturation. Get in the habit of providing “little treats” after good behavioral experiences. Over time they will come to know that behavior and blessings are directly tied to one another. It goes without saying.

Don’t fret on this one! Has’t God done the same thing to us? 

And now, my sons, listen to me for blessed are those who keep my ways. – Proverbs 8:32

So don’t be scared! Your children need to experience cultural things and its okay to tie blessings to their behavior and the experience. This can be done with a little planning.

Do you have any good acculturation stories? What tips can you share?

For more summer tips for your family, also visit Parents Space for a free e-book “The Family Guidebook for Thriving and Surviving Summer” I’ve had the privilege to co-author with the staff of Parents Space.  Click here for more details.

 

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