FIGHT FOR THE HEART
Communicate in a style that gives the relationship value.
Gotcha! Summer often means extra time in the car or hanging around the house. Remind yourself this month to keep an eye out for what your kid is doing right and then call it out. Use words like, ‘I love how you helped your brother with that,’ or, ‘That was so thoughtful of you to clean that up.’ Let them know you see them and you like what you see!
WIDEN THE CIRCLE
Pursue strategic relationships for your kids.
Sundae Funday. One of the best ways to cool off in the summer is by enjoying a cool treat with friends. Invite someone your family wants to get to know a little better to come enjoy some delicious ice cream with you and your family. Facilitate intentional conversation by playing a game. Choose a word—ice, for instance. Everyone has to go around the table and says their favorite and least favorite thing that starts with each letter of the word. For example, I – My favorite thing is ice cream, my least favorite things are iguanas.
CREATE A RHYTHM
Increase the quantity of quality times you spend together.
Go-Round the Go-Round. It doesn’t matter how old you get, riding a Merry-Go-Round never loses its allure. July 25 is National Merry-Go-Round Day. Some time that week (that day is ideal), find a Merry-Go-Round nearby that you and your family can ride on together. Have the cameras on your phones ready to snap lots of pictures—bonus points if you bring a selfie stick!
IMAGINE THE END
Focus your priorities on what matters most.
Summer Summary. Near the end of the month, take some time to celebrate your family’s summer wins. Gather around the dinner table, go out for dessert, or have a picnic in the backyard. Have everyone go around and share their favorite trip or adventure from the last two months. Did anyone pick up a new skill or do something they’ve never done before? Acknowledge how both successes and failures help us learn and grow.
JUST FOR YOU:
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Put yourself ﬁrst when it comes to personal growth.
Practice What You Preach. One irony of parenting is that we often ask our kids to show more discipline than we do. For example, if you ask your high schooler to be patient, but then honk your horn at the car in front of you to hurry up already, are you demonstrating patience? Pay attention to your actions this month. Do you complain? Do you respect authority? Ask God to show you the areas of self-discipline that you can improve.