Summer is just around the corner and life can be even busier during summer vacation. How do you maintain quality family time when schedules change and kid’s lives can be even busier? Here are some things I’ve learned in parenting during the busy seasons with school children.
Significant things our children “catch” can be unintentional. I have to admit, I began parenthood with a list of intentional things I was going to “teach” my children. They were going to absorb the training and valuable insight I desired to impart. As my older children are reaching adulthood, I realize some values they’re choosing have been unintentional influences. For example, certain books we simply made available to them and things we let them watch on TV or do with their free time has impacted their thinking and life choices.
Being intentional is important for quality family time, even when you’re too tired or busy. Long gone are the days of reading once a day before nap-time, but my school age kids remind me that intentional one-on-one time is still important. It’s not as easy as a five-minute read or a snuggle in the lap, but it still feeds the soul in similar ways.
Time to connect with kids is essential for quality family time, no matter how difficult it is to create. I’m constantly amazed at how disconnected our society is becoming, even in families. Time to connect is becoming increasingly difficult with distractions like as Facebook, Twitter, and smart phones. Being present just doesn’t mean being in the same room with each other – being engaged in conversation, even making eye contact is becoming a lost art. Being engaged with our kids seems to be the new extra-curricular sport we need to learn the rules to.
It’s important to live honestly and with integrity in front of our kids. It’s not always the easiest, and it often requires hard work. But it’s worth it. Kids know when what we say doesn’t match what we live. As a school counselor, I’m reminded everyday that kids see this more than we realize. It impacts them.
How can you connect and be intentional with your kids this summer vacation? We’d love to hear how you do this!