Summer is right around the corner and families have a few choices to make; How will we spend our summer? For many as summer approaches the first thing we think of is some type of vacation.
I have many memories growing up that each summer our family would pack up the car and head for about a week to Colorado. Each year would be a different stop; one summer we’d be exploring Cave of the Winds in Colorado Springs and another we’d be rafting and walking downtown in Estes Park. Whether it’s a road trip, somewhere requiring airfare or a weekend camping getaway I challenge you to put some sort of ‘vacation’ in your Summer time.
Now what to do with the rest of summer time. Without some intentional planning summer vacation can slip away and back-2-school will be knocking on your door. As parents this may be a blessing, but let’s equip our youth and families as a whole to have some great answers when asked “what did you do this summer?”
I want to suggest that we have some conversations and planning now to make the best of ourselves this summer. Call a family meeting or dinner and grab a notepad to capture everyone’s thoughts, ideas and goals. I suggest identifying some ways to spend time for each person in your family in the following three categories.
Chill Time - we all need time and space to just relax, to blow off steam and have some fun. For our kids this might be screen time - phones, game systems or Netflix. These are all ok, but set some limits. It could also be running around outside with some friends. Make sure there is time and some goals in how everyone wants to spend their chill time.
Work Time - this one may be easier to identify for those who have a job to go to (and yes, I think if a youth is old enough they should have some sort of ‘traditional job). With or without a traditional ‘paying’ job every member of the family should have some Work Time to contribute to the running of the home community. Picking up your room, cooking, dishes, yard work and more. Set the expectations early and then hold each other accountable.
You Time - this may sound a lot like chill time but it’s not. You Time is what you are doing to invest in your growth? First it’s important to identify why you want to grow (a growth goal) and then decide how. This could be reading or listening to books, understanding a topic better, taking a course or something else. Leaders are learners, so even when school is out for the summer find a way that you can invest in your personal growth.
So we have choices to make but remember not making a choice is a choice. Take some time now and make intentional decisions about how you and your family will spend your summer. Find some sense of balance in the Chill, Work and You time and when summer ends, everyone will have grown and have some great answers when asked “how was your summer?”
Make It A Great Day,