Joey and Carla Link
August 9 2017
It’s already August! Is your family enjoying time together and perhaps with grandparents? It is so hot here in the Midwest everyone is talking about finding a beach! Is that in your summer plans? The stores here are putting out school supplies. I’m thinking “School supplies, it’s barely August!”
Whatever you planned to do this summer it is definitely time to get on it. I want to go through drawers and clean them out and reorganize them. I think I have gotten one done. What about you? Do you have any household projects you were hoping to accomplish?
What about your kids? Did you and your spouse come up with one thing each of them needed training in? Have you started to work on it consistently? If we asked each of your kids what you were working on with them, what do you think they would say?
What about daily devotions? Everyone slacks off doing them in the spring for the extra 15 minutes of sleep when soccer games and practices were added into the already overcrowded family schedule. You wanted to get them going again before school starts. There is still time for that. We have devotion books for all ages at the parentingmadepractical.com bookstore.
If things have gotten crazy and lazy with bored kids causing trouble every day, here are some tips to get your home back in order.
- Get a routine in place. Routine brings order to your child’s day and order brings predictability, which gives kids security. Too much free time for kids of any age leads to trouble.
- Your kids get up around the same time every day so they need to go to bed at the same time too. Don’t let summer’s lazy attitude let your kids stay up late night after night unless the family has a planned activity outside the home. I encourage you to keep them on the same sleep schedule they are on when school is in session.
- They need to have regular eating times too. Please don’t let them snack all day. We had the rule that drinks needed to stay in the kitchen unless they were outside.
- For kids 5-11 years, have them help you make their routine (if they have a good attitude about it). Make a list of the activities that need to be done or can be done. Include chores, devotions, reading time, free play time, game time, time on computer and so forth. Write down how much time each activity should get or needs.
- Tween and teens can come up with their own routine, although you have the right to align it with family activities or tweak it. Make sure they include a time each day to play with younger siblings.
- Step up your obedience training. Together with your spouse, write down next to the names of each of your kids how often they come with a good attitude when you call their name and give a verbal response if you have trained them to do this (kids 4 yrs. and up). Give each of them a percentage. For the ones whose percentage was lower than 75% – it’s time to step up your obedience training. Come up with a plan, decide to be consistent and get going. If you need a review, our “Understanding First-Time Obedience” Mom’s Notes presentation comes in a packet with a chart to use. Oh, for the kids with a percentage higher than 75%, make sure you have a quiet moment with them to praise them for being consistent.
- Spend intentional time with your kids. While your kids may beg to spend time with their friends this summer, what they really want is to spend time with YOU! They may not show or say it, but they do. Spending time with your kids is more than sitting in front of the television. When was the last time you rode bikes together? Our grandkids, ages 6 and 4 yrs. were here recently visiting us parent-free and we rode bikes to a city park a few blocks away. Joey was on his bike, our little guy had just learned to ride without training wheels, our 4 yr. old granddaughter was on a big wheel and I in my scooter. What a site we made but they asked to go again and again. Oh, spending time together means no phones! You can take it with you; just put it on silent like you would if you were at the movies. This leads us to #4…
- Have FUN! It’s summer! Do things as a family but also find time to spend with each child individually. Even going for a walk around the block one-on-one or out for ice cream will speak volumes to your child. You can always have fun without letting your standards slide. I remember one of our daughters was pouting on a family outing when she was around 9 yrs. old and her father looked at her and said, “I can see you must not want to do this since your attitude is choosing to sit out and watch us have fun.” She sat for 30 minutes and watched us race cars on a track. Joey went to her and asked if she was ready to join us and she apologized and said to make it right her attitude would be good the rest of the day.
What are some of your favorite family activities with young children? With older kids? Can you think of activities they can do during the daily routine like “Lego Time”?