Isn't it funny how just going out to buy school supplies, getting your kids to try on clothes from last year to see if they'll still fit, beginning to plan the coordinating of drop off and pick up all signal a new rhythm is about to begin. Just when your family probably got into the rhythm and routines of summer... here comes the start of school and different rhythms you'll need to reinstate or begin new.
The quote above is a great reminder .... what parents choose to include as a rhythm (or a repetitive routine) in their family is what kids see as what is valued and important. What are some of the rhythms of your family that are nonnegotiable? Dinner with the whole family around the table each night? Vacation to visit grandparents every summer? Wipe your feet before you come in the house? No games/TV/computer till homework is done?
What about the things that help both you and your kids know God more... what's part of your regular family rhythm ... Reading the Bible or a Bible storybook together before bedtime? Praying together, and not just before meals? Spending time thanking God for the big and small things of life? Serving God by helping others? Helping your kids regularly connect in their Sunday small groups?
The exact opposite is true, too, you know. The negative rhythms that are hard to break and the things you know you should but don't put into your family rhythm are just as telling to kids.
The start of a new school year is an opportunity to press the restart button. Before the rush of school begins this year, I encourage you to take a little time out, and imagine what you want the end of the school year to look like -- both with general family rhythms and those related to your kids' (and your) faith. What new rhythms - or old rhythms that you may have let slip - can you include in this new school year. All it takes is one new thing, one modified thing, one little step to make a big difference.
Need ideas? I'd love to connect with you ... call or email and let's chat! Oh, and be sure to come to Orange Day with your kids on August 20 at 8:45 or 10:30! We can get the conversation started there! You can do this, parents!
Praying for you and cheering you on,
Kids & Families Director