Unplug-Technology-Family-Device-Holder

I’ve never been more thankful for technology than I am in 2020. Our devices and connection to the internet allow us regular communication with our college kids and loved ones around the country.

Yet, this same technology that connects us to the vast world also has the power to disconnect us in our own homes if we’re not careful.

It’s been a struggle for me to watch my teenagers in front of screens more often than usual during this pandemic.

Not only have my teens been stuck schooling from a screen, but they’re turning to their devices more often than usual in their downtime too. We certainly can’t blame them, yet we know that the excessive screen use in our home isn’t healthy.

So, what do we parents do?

Here are 5 Ways to Set Your Family up for Screen-Time Success During this Pandemic and Beyond

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6-Ways-to-Make-Your-Child-Feel-Loved this School Year

As parents of school-aged kids, many things feel uncertain and out of control right now heading into a new school year.

We have little control over whether our kids get to go to the classroom right now or if they have to be schooled virtually from our kitchen table.

One choice we do have, despite our circumstances, is the ability to make our child feel especially loved in our home this school year and beyond.

6-Ways-to-Make-Your-Child-Feel-Loved this School Year

1. Light a Candle of Honor

One of our favorite family dinner traditions we regularly did around our dinner table when our kids were younger was the Candle of Honor.

Each night (or whenever you want), choose one child (or adult) to honor because of a positive character trait they showed or something they accomplished that day. Light a candle in front of your honoree, acknowledge why you chose them before the meal, and let them blow the flame out while everyone gives them a round of applause.

The candle of honor tradition is such a small, simple, and fun way to acknowledge and impact your family members.

Be prepared for younger children to get upset or complain when they aren’t chosen. Thankfully, this too shall pass as they learn that their turn will indeed come around. The Candle of Honor becomes a strong family tradition as you teach your children to celebrate one another regularly in your home.

2. Turn an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one

As a mother of five, it can be difficult to feel like I’m giving everyone the attention they need or deserve. So, I’m always seeking out simple opportunities to celebrate each of my sons and daughter so that they feel uniquely cherished in our family.

Our youngest got to go back in person to school first, so on the night before he headed back to the classroom, I threw a little after-dinner celebration focused on him.

candle-of-honor-simple-celebration

  • Instead of just handing our son the variety pack of camouflage washable masks I had purchased him for school, I used it as an excuse to throw him a little Back-to-School after-dinner celebration.
  • I googled how many days had passed since his last day of school before the pandemic shut everything down and wrote on a blank notecard, “After 192 days, you get to go back to school.” Yippee. Hooray. Whoo-hoo.
  • After dinner, I lit the Candle of Honor and presented him with a slice of cheesecake (that Kneaders mistakingly gave me when I ordered a cherry pie for myself) and a recycled gift bag with his set of masks and a hand-me-down chapter book from a friend.

This simple celebration cost me nothing but a little time. I threw the idea together in a matter of minutes yet my intentional effort made my son feel special and loved.

This is the name of the game friends.

Be on the lookout for ordinary moments that you can simply turn into extraordinary ones with a little extra effort this school year.

3. Talk around the family table 

It’s so vital that we create space in our families to talk around the table, breakfast bar, or wherever you gather with your people regularly. Get to know who is in your child’s world this school year- virtually or in the classroom. Know the names and happenings of their friends, enemies, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and the other people they encounter every day.

Ask your students what’s bothering them about their school year so far?

What are they enjoying? And in turn, tell them what’s going on in your life.

Our homes need to be a haven where we gather consistently with our people over meals and speak truth and love to one another.

4. Encourage contribution

Find ways for your children, from toddlers to teens, to help out around your home. Even though your son or daughter will most likely complain about unloading the dishwasher, doing their laundry, or scrubbing a toilet, having regular chores helps children feel a sense of belonging which equates to feeling loved.

raise-Contributors-kids-chores

Not only should your son or daughter be contributing to the good of your family home, but it’s essential that they also learn to contribute to your local community and the world at large.

5. Create a meaningful school year photo album

One of my favorite back to school traditions is putting my sons’ and daughter’s annual school photo into their You are Loved School Days album (which I happened to design.)

School-Photos-Keepsake-Album

When we take the time to intentionally create a meaningful keepsake book with their school photos each year, it tells our child that they matter and that they are loved.

If you haven’t started an annual school year album, you can check out my simple product to help you do so HERE.

6. Start a dialogue journal

A dialogue journal is a perfect way to begin one-on-one communication with your child by writing back and forth to one another in a simple notebook.

Grab a barely used notebook and start a dialogue journal with your school-aged kids to help them improve their penmanship and to get more comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through the written word. It also makes a fun keepsake to look back at later in life.

To learn more about starting a dialogue journal with your student, click HERE.

What other ways are you striving to show love to your student this school year?

college-first-aid-kit

One of the most important things we can do as a parent is to teach our kids how to take care of their personal health.

Many doctors and nurses see college students coming in with minor aches and pains that could easily be remedied in their dorm room instead of the emergency room.

What can we do to give our young adults the confidence to care for their minor aches and pains?

We can begin teaching our children today how (and when) to treat minor illnesses and injuries and make up a first aid kit to give them the tools they may need to do so when they are off living independently.

College-Student-First-Aid-Kit

Here are the 19 Items I Included in my Sons’ College First Aid Kits:

1. Digital Thermometer 

2. Nasal spray for cold symptoms such as Afrin

3. Pain reliever tablets such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol

4. Emergen-C

5. Antibiotic Ointment

6. Cold & Flu medicine

7. Anti-diarrhea medication such as Immodium

8. Assortment of bandages

9. Cough drops

10. Sunblock

11. Tweezers, mini-scissors, nail file

12. Hand sanitizer

13. Lip balms

14. Instant Ice Packs 

15. Tums antacids

16. Saline nose spray

17. Allergy medicine

18. Insurance cards, immunization records, and any doctor’s information in a Ziploc bag

19. Hidden note of love from Mom and/or Dad

*This list includes affiliate links that will earn me a few cents if purchased!

college-first-aid-kit

  • Remember, this kit is to help your child remedy minor pains or sickness and doesn’t contain items regularly used, such as vitamins, sleep aids, or prescription medications.
  • Try to go over all of the included items with your child before sending this along with them. Make sure your son or daughter understands how to use everything so they won’t have to use Google or contact you in the middle of the night for advice.
What else would you include in your student’s college first aid kit?
11-free-summer-activities-for-kids

Our summer may look simpler this year than it normally does.

Instead of being disappointed or frustrated about our losses during this season, let’s choose to embrace the slower pace of the summer of 2020.

If you’re like me and hanging out at home more, with little desire to spend a lot of money right now, perhaps these fun, but low-cost, ideas will be of interest to you. 

11-free-summer-activities-for-kids

1. Plan a themed family night

Look at your summer calendar and see if there are any days coming up that you could purposely celebrate. For example, National Ice Cream Day is coming up on July 21! Why not surprise your family with an ice cream party that day or set up a sundae bar after dinner?

One of our family’s favorite theme nights we’ve ever had was a backward dinner, where everyone shows up to eat with their clothes on backward. You also serve the meal backward starting with dessert first and serving the salad last. 

The point is to be silly and plan a fun family night that you wouldn’t ordinarily do.

Little-Free-Library

2. Seek out Little Free Libraries

Little Free Libraries are “take one, leave one” book stations, and are located all over the place. Visiting Little Free Library locations with your child both encourages a healthy habit of reading and helps kids recycle books they’ve already read.  

Our youngest and I enjoy trying to match the theme of the books we donate to the theme of the little library we are donating to, as we recently did at our local dog park. Get creative with your experiences and enjoy exploring your community together.

Check out littlefreelibrary.org for a map of libraries near you, as well as best practices during the Coronavirus.

3. Make a Boredom Bucket

I’m giving you permission to stop playing cruise director and constantly entertaining your child this summer!

Boredom is mightily beneficial, if we are strong enough to allow our children to experience it. Use this summer downtime to let your kids figure out how to entertain themselves, by themselves, just like we had to do back in the day.

summer-boredom-bucket

One way to set your son or daughter up for success is to help them create a Boredom Bucket, Bin, or Basket with quiet activities to occupy them when they don’t seem to know what to do with themselves. It’s that or a toilet bowl brush so let them take their pick!

CHECK OUT  MY SUMMER OF SIGNIFICANCE PRINTABLE PACK HERE

Putting together a boredom bucket also doesn’t need to cost you anything, unless you want to mix in new items. Your child can choose what items go in the bucket or you can go through their room like I did and pick out small items that have rarely gotten used. You can also add new items to the bucket or switch items out throughout the summer to keep it fun.

These magnetic balls are pricey, but they have been our son’s favorite boredom cure this summer so they are worth it!

4. Start dialogue journals 

School may be over, but we want to keep up on our student’s penmanship. So, grab one of your child’s barely used notebooks from this school year and start a dialogue journal with your kids to help them:

  • Improve their penmanship.
  • Get more comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through the written word.
  • Think about the thoughts and feelings of another in this interactive form of communication.
  • Create a keepsake from their childhood to be cherished later.

Click HERE for more details on how and why you may want to get started on this!

Parent-on-purpose-chores

5. Strengthen life skills 

Take the time to teach your children the life skills that will help them when they start back to school and beyond. What is it that your child needs to know and that they can learn to do this summer?

Not sure? Get my life skills age-appropriate summer task checklists HERE!

6. Go Geocaching

Here’s a family-friendly activity that’s high on both fun and fresh air. Geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunt offering lots of hidden containers (called caches) and tips and clues for finding them in public spaces such as parks. It was one of our kids’ favorite things they did as we traveled around the USA in our RV in 2014.

Geocaching-kids-summer

Create a free account HERE or download the app from Apple or Google Play on your smartphone. Make sure to bring hand sanitizer and a pen to sign and date the logbook in each geocache you find before placing it back where you found it.

7. Join a summer reading challenge

There are many ways to motivate your child to read more this summer. Start with your local public library to see what they are offering this summer or join in one of the many reading challenges being offered online.

Have a kid who loves pizza? This may be the reading program for them!  Camp BOOK IT is Pizza Hut’s new summer reading program where kids ages 5-12 can earn free pizzas from June through August. Half Price Books is running their summer reading challenge too or you can sign up for Scholastic’s Summer Read-A- Palooza as well.

send-summer-postcards

8. Send postcards

Postcards are an easy way to get our kids working on their penmanship while sending some love through the mail this summer.

Who knew you can even order postcard stamps from the comfort of your home on Amazon right HERE. I like buying postcards showcasing our beautiful state, but you can buy unique sets of postcards like these if you don’t have an option or desire to purchase them locally.

kids-in-the-kitchen-summer-life-skills

9. Make a homemade treat in your kitchen together

Hanging out in the kitchen with your kids this summer will provide so many benefits! Not only will you have some fun together, but you will also have the chance to teach your children lifelong skills.

What recipe can you teach your kids how to make? Homemade Strawberry Fruit Rollups is one of our favorite family summer treats and it’s the only recipe I’ve ever posted on my blog!

Kitchen-life-skills-for-kids

WANT TO CREATE SIGNIFICANT FAMILY SYSTEMS IN THE KITCHEN THIS SUMMER?

glass-jar-tradition

10. Start a glass jar tradition

One of the most important things we can do is take the time to create simple traditions in our homes that teach our kids the values we deem most important. One way to do this is to create an annual glass jar tradition to teach the values of generosity, gratitude, joy, or presence.

Here are four glass jar traditions you could start this summer!

chalk-art-glass-window

11. Create a chalk art family masterpiece

I know that chalk art is so “Coronavirus quarantine,” but this mosaic design we painted on our glass door brings me so much joy. I don’t think I’ll ever erase it!

Grab some masking or painters tape and create a design (with chalk markers) on your window or on your driveway and let each family member take part in bringing your artistic creation to life. Make it a fun, family affair!

What are other simple, fun, and low-cost activities are you enjoying with your family this summer?

Create-Significant-Summer-Systems-Kids-in-Kitchen

As we head into summer, let’s talk about how we can use this June, July, and August to strengthen our family systems and raise kids who are contributors!

LISTEN IN as my author friend, Danielle Wurth, and I talk about one chapter of her new book- KIDS IN THE KITCHEN– and how we can use the summer months at home to teach our kids what it is we need them to know in the kitchen while having fun doing it! Now there’s a summer win-win!

7 Ways to Create a Summer of Significance in 2020

  • Grab the Summer Skills Lists in my ‘How to Create A Summer of Significance in 2020 Printable Pack HERE!
  • Download Danielle’s Kitchen Zones Printable HERE
  • Want to make a Family Recipe Binder? Download Danielle’s Printable HERE
  • Check out Danielle’s Books HERE 
  • Get Danielle’s favorite label maker HERE 

Kitchen-life-skills-for-kids

 

 

 

7-ways-to-create-a-summer-of-significancei-in-2020

The Summer of 2020 is being called ‘The Summer of Nothing’ and ‘The Endless Summer.’

While I can certainly relate to the feelings and realities behind both of those statements, I know that I want to make this summer matter despite our circumstances.

Childhood is short. Summer is even shorter. God willing, we only get 18 summers with our kids, so how can we bring significance to this summer that may be simpler than we’re used to?

7-ways-to-create-a-summer-of-significancei-in-2020

1. Strengthen your family values and purpose

Have you taken the time to claim your core values and purpose for raising your kids? It will be nearly impossible to live out a summer of significance if you haven’t taken the time to define what ‘significant’ even means to you.

Start by defining your core values and what it is you want to instill in your children while they are growing up under your care. 

What do you want your son or daughter armored with when they leave your home one day headed into adulthood?

Claim it. Name it and strive to live it out this summer.

2. Prioritize play

Most likely any vacationing or summer camp plans your family had scheduled for this summer were cancelled. Although we’re disappointed with all of the changes to our calendar this year, let’s take a deep breath and instead think about how you can bring more fun to your simple summer days.

How about planning a themed family dinner night? We still talk about the backward dinners we did when our kids were younger, where we all came to dinner wearing backward clothing and started our meal with dessert and ended with salad.

What is it that brings your family joy when you do it together? Plan more of THAT to create significant summer moments and memories for your family.

Click HERE for FREE ideas for being more playful this summer! (Be sure to look for my Boredom Bucket idea helping kids to be playful on their own!)

create-summer-significance-2020-printable-worksheets

3. Cultivate an atmosphere of growth

Our time spent in Coronavirus quarantine exposed many strengths and weaknesses in our families. 

What’s something that didn’t go so well during your time schooling at home? Focus on strengthening that area this summer.

While it’s important to play and relax, it’s also crucial to keep learning and growing through the summer months.

For instance, I’m so tired of online learning and am looking for ways to help my youngest keep up on his math skills. This summer we’re using Learning Math Wrap-Ups to strengthen his multiplication and division facts. Check out this whole line of awesome hands-on learning wrap-ups HERE, where you will get 20% off and free shipping too!

Learning-wrap-ups-math-learning-palette

Learning Wrap-Ups sent us these products for our son to try! I’m so grateful that he enjoys using them, and his math skills are improving!

4. Teach life skills

Having the kids at home provides a perfect opportunity to teach them what it is we want them to know before they leave our homes for adulthood one day.

This summer we can take the opportunity to teach our children how to do their own laundry, cook, clean, or change a tire. Perhaps you can finally open that bank account or help your child start a business. Or simply teach them to tie their shoes or handwrite, address and mail a thank you note.

What life skill will you purposely teach your child this summer?

Parent-on-purpose-chores

GET MY SUMMER LIFE SKILLS- FOR TODDLERS THROUGH TEENS- PRINTABLES

5. Make mindful entertainment choices

Binge-watching random television shows, scrolling social media constantly, or playing video games non-stop isn’t a good use of our child’s time. Sure, there may be space for mindless entertainment choices this summer, but we must purposely set boundaries on them, so they don’t consume our days.

Why not purposely choose documentaries to educate yourself as well as create conversation and awareness of cultural issues in your family this summer?

What healthy entertainment choices will you choose for your family this summer?

4 Ways to Save Your Sanity with a Summer Screentime Strategy

northern-arizona-fishing

6. Go on local adventures

We were so excited to celebrate our high school graduates and my husband’s 50th birthday on an Alaska cruise this summer. Unfortunately, our epic trip, along with many other things have been cancelled this summer. As disappointing as it is, we have to pivot and plan for other adventures this summer of 2020.

Where can you plan to go explore, get out in nature, and enjoy the outdoors where you live?

Most likely, you don’t have to venture further than your home state for family fun. Many times we take for granted the beautiful places that surround us locally that we’ve never taken the time to visit… yet.

What adventures will you create this summer that will add to your family narrative and strengthen your relationships?

Summer-2020-Bucket-List

7. Celebrate life, and loved ones, in simple ways

What can you do to celebrate Dad on Father’s Day so that he feels special and loved?

When my kids were younger, they loved it when I planned a special day for each of them. My sons and daughter got to pick what they wanted to eat for breakfast in bed and what our family would do (within reason) that day.

In my Create a Summer of Significance in 2020 Printable Pack, you will get monthly celebration calendars for you to plan your June, July, and August, as well as a fun fill-in-the-blank All About Dad printable for Father’s Day.

Questions to Ask Yourself-

  • What does each family member need this summer to strengthen them physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally?
  • What frustrated you the most this school year? Work on improving that area this summer so when school rolls around again you may have established better habits.
  • What summer family tradition can you repeat again this year? Summer wouldn’t be summer without this…. bike rides to the bagel shop or boating on the lake. What are the simple things your family does together that can still happen this summer of 2020?

Summer-of-Significance-2020-Printable-Workbook

Teach-High-Schoolers-Personal-Health

As my firstborn sons wind down their senior year of high school, I question what I still need to teach them over these next couple of months before launching them off to their respective college campuses come August.

One area where we parents seem to fall short in our teaching is helping our son or daughter manage their health.

In general, we do a relatively good job of talking with our kids about the importance of eating a healthy diet while getting proper exercise and plenty of sleep. Yet, are we failing to prepare our kids to manage their health when they leave our homes?

From the many stories I’ve heard from doctors and nurses, I’m thinking so.

12 GIFTS TO GIVE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR FOR GRADUATION

Emergency Room Nurse Charity Hollywood says she consistently sees ill-equipped young adults stream into the emergency room where she works near a large university campus in Arizona. She says that she is striving to raise her 6-year old twin sons to be confident and capable from a young age and encourages other parents to prepare their children better when it comes to managing their health.

What skills do young adults lack when it comes to their health?

What can parents do differently while raising their kids so that they can launch adults who are more confident and capable when managing their health?

Teach-High-Schoolers-Personal-Health

Read more

12-gifts-to-give-high-school-graduates

As I prepare to graduate my firstborn sons from high school and launch them from the safety of our nest this fall, I want to talk about what are the best gifts we can give our Seniors at this special time in our lives.

And guess what….. these gifts won’t cost you much, if anything, at all!

LISTEN IN as my author friend, Dennis Trittin, and I talk about 12 gifts that we think are important to give high school seniors before launching them off into adulthood.

  • Download Dennis’ Resource List: HERE
  • Download Amy’s mock Health History Questionnaire for Teens to practice filling out: HERE
  • Download Amy’s Life Skills for the Launch: HERE
  • Get your personalized college stationery HERE

Who needs some strategies to give your kids Wings, Not Strings, and to launch young adults who can soar with confidence? Wings-Not-Strings-Parenting-Book

 

Dialogue-Journals-with-foster-children

While many of us are finding ourselves at home with our family members during this season of the Coronavirus pandemic, it can be challenging to figure out positive ways to spend our time while helping our kids grow in the process.

Two important areas we can devote our efforts to right now is strengthening family communication and our kids’ life skills. 

Over our summer breaks, I used to do dialogue journals with my elementary school-aged kids to help them:

  • Improve their penmanship.
  • Get more comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through the written word.
  • Think about the thoughts and feelings of another in this interactive form of communication.
  • Create a keepsake from their childhood to be cherished later.

What you need to start a Dialogue Journal

All you need to start your dialogue journal is a simple notebook and a writing instrument. Nothing fancy required. I even like to recycle the kids’ old school notebooks that still have plenty of unused pages left in them. (Rip out the used pages!)

Dialogue-Journal-with-kids-coronavirus-quarantine

As the parent, you begin the journal by writing Dear Son or Daughter and the date. Then, tell your child something about your day and ask them a question. Leave the notebook on their bed or somewhere they will naturally find it. Then, your child is to write you back in the same format, asking you a question as well. And the journal gets casually passed back and forth creating improved penmanship, communication, and a keepsake to look back on.

TIP: You can liven up the notebook covers even with sayings or photos of the two of you on the front. I used to do a dialogue journal with the foster teen I mentored, and it was an excellent way for us to “talk” about the hard stuff that’s sometimes difficult to express in person.

Dialogue-Journals-with-foster-children

TIP: You could even do a Dialogue Journal with a friend or loved one who lives locally too. Ride your bike or drive over and drop the notebook at their door, and they can do the same when they are done.

Ask questions to get your child talking about their feelings and thoughts about their experience in quarantine and what they are missing this summer.

Click Here for 20 questions you could ask your child in your Dialogue Journal or use the cards to communicate around your family dinner table!

Use this time to strengthen your family communication through starting dialogue journals with your children. Not only will your son or daughter learn pertinent skills for today, but you will intentionally create a keepsake to be cherished tomorrow as well.

Have you done a dialogue journal with your child before?

 

5-ways-to-parent-on-purpose-during-a-pandemic

This too shall pass. 

As unsettling as living through this pandemic is, we need to remember that this season of Coronavirus confinement is just that- a season. It will eventually end. And if we don’t let our grievances and circumstances consume us, we can proactively use this time to our advantage in simple ways.

Let’s purposely respond to our new reality instead of react our way through it.

How do you want to feel when this is all over? 

How do you want your family to be strengthened because of this period of unexpected time together?

If quarantine ended tomorrow, what would you be disappointed if you didn’t do?

There is no denying that what we’re going through is crazy on all levels. But, amidst the chaos, there is beautiful opportunity if we choose to bravely seek it out.

Here are 5 Ways to Parent on Purpose During this Pandemic

1.  Bring back a childhood family dinner tradition OR start a new one

Our calendars typically prohibit us from gathering around the table as a family often. As we find ourselves spending time eating more meals together, why not bring back a tradition from the past or start something fresh and new?

This time of Coronavirus confinement is the perfect time to gather around our family tables with purpose. It doesn’t matter if we are supporting local businesses and ordering our meals in, or if we’re trying new recipes and preparing them with our kids, or barely getting prepackaged food on the table. What we are eating doesn’t matter near like how we are spending our time together doing it.

Family-Dinner-Traditions-During-Coronavirus

We brought ‘Highs and Lows’ back to our family dinnertime, each of us sharing what the best and worst thing about our day was. This can be a stretch considering we aren’t doing a whole lot these days, which makes us dig deeper perhaps to find gratitude for the simple things in our lives right now.

How about using conversation starters to keep you at the table talking longer? Here are some of my favorites by local Arizona makers: CLICK HERE.

What family tradition can you restart during this time of confinement?

Or what’s something fun you’d like to begin?

2. Teach life skills

My teens are home doing online school; therefore, I am not necessarily homeschooling my high schoolers. But, I am taking advantage of this unique opportunity we have together at home to teach my sons and daughter some real-life skills that our regular lives haven’t allowed the time for.

What is it that your kids are going to need to know when they leave your house for adulthood? What is it that you can take the time to teach them today toward the goal of sending off a capable, confident, responsible adult one day?

If you have toddlers, teenagers or kids in between, there is so much you can (and need to) teach them. Only you know what your child still needs to learn. Is it to tie their shoes or change a tire on the family car? Perhaps it’s merely to learn family members’ phone numbers or their Social Security number?

Make a list of life skills you want to try to teach during this season of quarantine or print off my life skills for the launch checklist HERE.

3. Cultivate a playful home

I don’t know about you, but watching my sons and daughter stare at screens more is not good for me (or them!) so knowing we want our kids on devices less, means we need to purposely set up our homes with more opportunities for play and creativity.

Cultivate-A-Playful-Home-During-Coronavirus

We replaced my beautiful candle holder with this Hook It Game from Kidstop Toys and it is so much fun! The rings are rubber so no damage is done!

Temporarily replace some of your home decor with games or opportunities for your family members to engage in play together. (Kidstop Toys will ship this game or any others to you so check out their website HERE.) We set up a folding table in the living room for continuous puzzles. Our ping pong table is dusted off and games have been pulled out of hibernation.

How can you purposely place pockets of play throughout your house?

4. Live out your values

Our kids are watching how we are handling this Coronavirus crazy time. It’s crucial that we model for our children how to live this unsettling time out in faith and not in fear. This doesn’t mean that we will do it perfectly, because we won’t. Unfortunately, we’re human, and it’s good for our kids to see that.

This is the perfect time to talk as a family about how you can help, serve and support others from home right now. Are their local small businesses or restaurants you can order from to help them stay afloat during this time? What about a favorite online small retailer? Can you pick up extra groceries for someone in need?

How can you serve your friends, family and community members while staying safe and socially distant?

5. Bravely embrace boredom

There’s no better time than the present than to allow our children to be bored. We need to purposely put away the screens and send our kids outside or to their room to figure out how to entertain themselves by themselves. We want our kids to learn that they don’t need to turn to adults to figure out how to occupy their time.

My tech expert friend, Tom Kersting, recently said that “Boredom is miracle grow for the brain” and I have to agree.

Boredom-Bucket- for-Kids

You can even make your kids a boredom bucket, bin or box that they can turn to for creative activities when they aren’t quite sure what to do with themselves.

What are other ways you are choosing to parent on purpose during this pandemic?