June 2013



2 healthy summer habits for your family

Written by , Posted in Your Family

Summer can bring some great opportunities for families, but it can also lead to lots of frustration. Plus, it goes by so fast that I am afraid to blink. I have not enjoyed feeling like we did not get the most out of a summer. So, my wife and I decided to implement a couple of habits/rules in our house (unique from our school year routines). Our goal was to establish some routines that would promote calmness, creativity and spiritual growth.

  1. Thou shall not play or view any electronic devices before lunch. After lunch, they are given an allotted time, but the morning is to be spent doing other things. Attached to this rule, we’ve also made it clear that if they utter the evil phrase I’m bored, they will swiftly be assigned additional chores (to help them with their boredom). After several weeks of observing, we are loving this rule. My wife does not have to referee four children’s electronics time in the morning, and the kids are drawing, playing outside while it’s cool, reading, and using their creativity (and they are doing all of this quite nicely). It also helps us be proactive at helping our kids not become addicted to electronics, which research clearly reveals has numerous downfalls. *Update: We’ve modified this rule. Now the rule is that they need to be awake for 3 hours before electronics.
  2. We shall individually read one chapter of the Bible in the morning, write down a few notes, and then be ready to discuss it with the whole family in the evening. We just finished the book of Mark. It’s been really incredible to do this. Our kids are learning to think more deeply as they read, and our family devotions have been really great at night. Beth and I have been enjoying our quiet times on the back patio, and we are often joined by a kid or two. I pray that these habits stick for them.

Trust me, my kids did not get out the party hats when I announced our new rules. But I took the time to explain why we were doing this, and I made it clear that they had no other options (so they may as well get on board). And I also reminded them of all of the fun stuff they’d get to be doing this summer. We held firm, and they have quickly adapted. In fact, I think they all are actually enjoying the new routine quite a bit.

I hope that your family will figure out some ways to make the most of your summer. Have you implemented some habits/rules that are helping you?

These ideas came from my book “Lead Your Family: 12 Ready-To-Use Ideas For Spiritually Leading Your Family.” 

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    • Brian Jennings
  1. Ralph & Barbara Cooley

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