Summer time is filled with lots of time with kids who aren’t in school. It’s easy to have big ideas for summer plans that quickly fade into “back to school planning.” Here are five parenting opportunities I’ve learned make a difference in the life of teens and tweens, even when we feel we’re too busy to do the big summer events.
- Important lessons kids learn are often from simple things. As my older children reach adulthood, values they’re choosing were influenced by things I overlooked – like books and routine activities. Certain books and stories we made available to them have significantly impacted their decisions and beliefs, along with principles and traditions I didn’t even realize we established.
- Making time with kids is essential even when you’re tired or busy. For me, the days of reading before naptime are gone, but my kids remind me that intentional one-on-one time is still important. It may not be as easy as a five-minute read, but it must still feeds the soul in similar ways. Summer is a great time for these moments.
- Connect with teens in conversation, no matter how fleeting or “uncool” it is. As a school counselor, I notice how disconnected families are. Being present just doesn’t mean being in the same room with each other. Having conversation and making eye contact is becoming a lost art. Being engaged with your kids is the new extra-curricular sport you need to learn how to play.
- Being honest in front of your kids speaks volumes to them. It’s not always the easiest, but it’s worth it. Kids need honesty modeled at home because family still has the greatest influence on their lives.
- Pouring your family’s values into your kids is still foundational to their moral development. Teens and tweens crave intrinsic values and truth. The values you teach are still their moral compass in a rapidly changing world. Make the time to talk about your values with your teens.
What are truths you have learned from your summer experiences? How do you pour your values and truths into your lifestyle?
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