It's really easy to exist in status quo over summer break. The kids have been in the grind at school for 10 months: waking up to an alarm clock every morning, giving effort in school all day, homework, activities, etc. The best thing about summer is letting go of the pace and routines from the school year. To my kids, this could easily mean stay in pajamas all day and watch tv or play video games. Screen time can seriously get out of control over the summer, am I right?
I wanted to instill in my kids a healthy understanding of how to live intentionally even on their summer break. It's a positive habit to develop rules and boundaries in life. They help keep us in check, reminding us what is important to us and what we stand for. It's easier to keep distractions and status quo ruts out of our life when we have rules and boundaries in place. I encourage you to start helping your children create rules and boundaries throughout different situations in their life.
So I developed three rules to live by during summer break and posted them in a central location in our home.
Rule number one: Be active.
Rule number two: Further your wisdom and understanding.
Rule number three: Let go.
I wanted them to see that each of these helped contribute to their well being. Each of these are healthy when used together.
It would have been really easy to add other rules, making the list quite long. While other rules would have included great things, keeping the list small is important because it's more reachable, intentional and mindful.
Plus, most things fall in these three categories.
Rule number one, be active, includes all things productive. It might include exercising, like sports practice, jumping on the trampoline, sliding on the slip and slide, swimming, walks, etc. It also involves accomplishing tasks, like errands, serving the community, chores, etc. Being active can also include fun activities that gets you out, like going to the beach, meeting up with friends, etc.
Rule number two, further your wisdom and understanding, includes anything that helps strengthen their mind and spirit. This can include bible study, journaling, reading, writing, studying, etc. This can also include brain-engaging activities, like games, puzzles, etc.
Rule number three, let go, involves rest and relaxation. This is where television, video games, sleep, etc. comes in. It is important to help the kids see that rest and relaxation is good for us when paired with taking care of our body, mind, and spirit. Hopefully helping them understand this balance will help them monitor the amount of time they spend sitting on the couch. If they have done a good job being active and furthering their wisdom and understanding, then they should feel comfortable with spending some time letting go and relaxing. True relaxation only comes when one experiences true work anyways.
So, let's say the kiddos have started a summer morning watching tv. They are taking a break from the constant pace that starts every school morning. Great! They are letting go. If it were up to them, they could keep that tv on all day. So, instead of telling them to turn it off and hearing some whining, help them understand the WHY. Why is it time to turn the tv off? Because it's time to be active or further our wisdom and understanding. Because we need to be careful not to slip into status quo, but instead need to live intentionally to make the most of every moment.
This will help the children develop a lifestyle of intentionality and focus.
Of course you can develop your own three rules for your home during the summer. Have a family meeting and post them for everyone to see. Keep mentioning them each day and identify how what they are doing applies to a rule. ("You are playing with the dog, that is being active. Good job." or "Scrabble with dad is furthering your mind, that's great.")
Please comment! I would love to hear any other ideas you have for summer rules.
Visit my other posts for more ways to get out of your ruts and push against status quo living. And make sure you subscribe so you don't miss what's coming to help you live intentionally, making the most of every moment.