On this Connected Family Fun, LA; Aliso Beach, Laguna adventure, I spent some quality time with my youngest daughter, Kenzie. We have fallen into the tradition of spending a day at the beach together as a fun mother-daughter outing at least once every summer. Some trips are more successful than others.
During the summer before Kenzie went off to college, we had a less than successful trip to the beach when we were both unexpectedly overtaken by the ocean tide. That outing ended in a soaked cell phone for Kenzie and a sprained knee for me. Since that ill-fated adventure, we laugh at our survival tactics but go to the beach with more watchful eyes
Keeping an eye on the ocean tides is good practice for any beachgoer and can be important for Aliso Beach as well. The waves crash hard on this beach as there is a shorter drop off to deeper water. Check the timetable for the tides as you plan your adventure to Aliso Beach. https://tides.willyweather.com/ca/orange-county/aliso-beach-county-park.html. Always approach the ocean with caution and awareness.
This summer, my mother-daughter outing to Aliso Beach in Laguna was 100 percent successful. Aliso Beach is a gem and has a little something for everybody. You can walk along the bluffs, looking up at the beautiful cliff-lined homes, have lunch at the beachy food stand, or spend long hours sunbathing and swimming.
It is especially great fun watching the locals come out to skimboard. https://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/22/laguna-beach-skimboarders-dominate-world-championships-as-city-prepares-to-declare-itself-skimboard-capitol-of-the-world/
The steep, sandy slopes, side waves, and a wedge create a skimboard paradise at Aliso Beach. The lifeguards do a great job of keeping the skimboarders separated from the other swimmers for safety sake. I know from personal experience that loose boards fly right above ankle height! (but that is a different story).
I recommend walking north to the tide pools where volunteers patrol (remember to look but don’t touch) and answer questions about the habitat. Families that learn and discover together create a stronger sense of family culture. http://www.ocparks.com/beaches/aliso.
Aliso Beach Park
A ship-themed playground is nestled on the sand at Aliso Beach. The captain and his scallywags stand ready to walk the plank. The ocean backdrop provides the perfect scenery for imaginative play for the little ones and playful engagement for parents.
Playing with other children and siblings may be fun, but nothing beats the joy and satisfaction of playing with your parents. Playing with children also gives parents a shot of oxytocin, the bonding hormone. What parent does not want a free and safe way of decreasing tension and stress?!
Let the family fun and pirate adventures begin! https://funorangecountyparks.com/aliso-beach-park-laguna-beach.html.
Here is a link to a wonderful blog with more details about the playground and other possibilities for a day at Aliso Beach. http://www.doubletheadventure.com/2009/02/aliso-beach-park.html
The sunny afternoon on the beach, the wind in her hair, the sunglasses, the moves… It all came together in such silly fun as Kenzie modeled for the camera. As spontaneous as it was to play pretend with this beautiful young woman, the experience was surprisingly connecting for the both of us.
From Kenzie’s perspective, I made her the center of my attention as I poured adoration upon her. Such a gentle and sometimes fragile age almost 20 is these days. For some brief moments, she was the “it” girl and the most beautiful creature in sight.
Our playful banter back and forth, sometimes coaxing, sometimes mocking in jest, seemed to strengthen my daughter. Girls Kenzie’s age can never hear enough how lovely they are, especially from their mothers.
From my perspective, my camera lens connected me directly to Kenzie’s soul. Everything else faded from view as she became all-encompassing to me.
There she was, so grown and poised. No longer the little girl making sand castles on the beach, but this strong, capable, independent young woman, ready to take on the world. I was touched by what I saw, so very proud and tied to her through this invisible connection strong enough now to allow me to soon let go.
There are so many things to do as a parent and not enough hours in the day. Most parents will hear somewhere along their parenting journey how important it is to spend time alone with each of their children. Taking a long walk together along the sand at Aliso Beach is the perfect place to do this.
You could share the joy of looking for seashells as you talk about so many different topics. Get deep and ask your child what are their life’s desires. Step back from the collage that is your child, to see the bigger picture.
Listening with an open mind and an open heart will help your child feel better understood and the center of your attention. This is especially meaningful for adopted children.
In my Connected Famly Fun, LA: Topanga Canyon blog, I talk more about the importance of really listening to your children and the value it can bring to your relationship. https://welcomehomefamilytherapy.com/connected-family-fun-la-topanga-canyon/.
As a parent, you can share too. Maybe you can share some stories about when you were your child’s age. What were your dreams and aspirations when you were young? You may be surprised how intently your kids will listen to your childhood stories.
These will be the memories and family lore that your children pass down from generation the generation. Through these long walks on the beach and mutual sharing, you will strengthen your understanding of each other and your parent-child bond.
The ocean is a big place for big thinking.
Helping families feel connected is at the core of my Family Therapy practice. Should you feel like your family might benefit from family counseling to increase your family connections and decrease family conflicts, I invite you to contact me.
You can learn more about Me, my Family Therapy Practice, my Credentials, Services, and Rates on my website. I have a sub-specialty in Post-Adoption Family Therapy and offer an option for In-Home Family Therapy.
Click here, to contact me via email, or feel free to give me a call at (626) 755-4059. I offer a FREE 20-minute, Initial Phone Consultation.