When my kids were young, I knew I wanted to raise them in a family known for their kindness, generosity, and ability to love others well.

I didn’t know how difficult it would be as a parent to live this out though.

  • We want our kids to be kind.
  • We want our sons and daughters to be compassionate.
  • We want our offspring to be loving and empathetic toward others.

But we can’t just want our children to grow up with these essential values and character traits; we must purposely show up in our home, community, and world and consistently show others kindness, compassion, love, and empathy.

How do we prioritize serving others in this busy culture we raise our kids in today?

First, we must mind the gap between what we say we want and how we live.

In my book Parent on Purpose, I wrote about Harvard’s Making Caring Common Project report, “The Children We Mean to Raise,” where research indicates that 96% of parents report that moral character in children is “very important, if not essential,” yet 81% of the kids surveyed said that happiness or achievement is their parents’ top priority. The interviewees were also three times more likely to agree, “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”

I don’t believe this is what parents genuinely want, yet this truth is our youth’s perspective. Therefore, we must shift how we, as parents, prioritize achievement and performance over character and values.

Raise-Kind-Kids

As parents, we say compassion, kindness, and empathy are traits that we want our child to embody, yet serving others is often the last thing we schedule on our overpacked calendar. Therefore, our sons and daughters learn that we fit in helping others after serving ourselves.

In this me, myself, and I culture that we’re raising our children in, we must create opportunities to serve others regularly.

Weave volunteering and community service into your family culture so that helping others becomes who you are instead of what you do. If we want to raise kind and caring kids, we must emphasize caring for others as we do achieving good grades and winning games.

If we want our children to learn the values of kindness, compassion, and empathy, we have to take the time to teach them how to be kind, compassionate, and empathetic.

To close the gap between what we value and the messages our kids internalize, we must confidently lead our children to opportunities and experiences where they can authentically absorb the values we want them to have.

How can we prioritize serving others instead of it being an afterthought while raising our kids today?

5 Ways to Make Serving Others a Priority in Your Family

1. Be the example

Prioritize serving others in your own adult life first. Let your kids watch you care for people regularly. Always model how you can help make someone’s life easier.

If we want our children to be kind and empathetic, we must embody those values ourselves. As Rabbi Lyle Fishman told us, “Service is caught rather than taught.” What our children watch us do is more important than what they hear us say.

2. Expect your child to help around your home

Before worrying about taking our kids out to volunteer in the community or serve abroad, we must ensure we are teaching our sons and daughters how to help in our homes first.

raise-Contributors-kids-chores

What needs do you have in your home that your children can help fill? Allow them to help around the house by taking out the trash, doing the dishes, or helping take care of your pet. Family members should be expected to contribute and support one another, however, and whenever possible.

3. Communicate about how you live out your values daily

Go around the dinner table regularly and discuss how you showed kindness to another that day. Let your conversations focus on the values you want your child to embody instead of the grades you want to be on their report card.

Have consistent family conversations about how you purposely show kindness, love, or empathy to others.

4. Volunteer in your community consistently as a family

Schedule regular family service opportunities so that volunteering is just something that you do in your family. You may have to say no to something you already have scheduled on your calendar to fit in community service, but remember you want serving others to be a priority, so something else must go.

Talk to others and see where they serve and volunteer in your community. Join a service group at your place of worship, through your workplace or kids’ school. Check Volunteer Match to find local opportunities.

5. Volunteer on Vacation

When you travel, look for volunteer opportunities or places you can visit to teach your children the values you want them to have.

When our family traveled around the USA in an RV for seven months, we purposely visited places that supported our values, such as Boys Town in Nebraska and Give Kids the World near Disney World in Orlando.

The next time you plan a trip, figure out where you may be able to serve that community amidst your family vacation.

  • If we say that we want to raise kind kids, then it’s us who must teach our sons and daughters how to be kind.
  • If we say we want to be a family known for their kindness, generosity, and ability to love others well, we must prioritize opportunities to live those values out consistently.
  • If we say we want serving others to be an authentic part of our family culture, we must show up regularly.

No matter how overextended we may feel, it’s essential to take the time and make an effort to prioritize serving others, which will help our children develop the values and character traits that will make our world a better place.

safer-internet-day

We often give our children a technological device with access to email or texting and forget to take the time to teach them about the dangers of cybercriminals.

Email is the most common method cybercriminals use, but more of them are also showing up by text. So we must take the time to teach our teens how cybercriminals operate and their digital attempts to manipulate, influence or deceive them into taking action that isn’t in their best interest.

3 Ways Cybercriminals Target Through Email and Text

Phishing: this is a process where cybercriminals will trick you with emails disguised as coming from a trusted contact or company. Cybercriminals send persuasive emails to get you to provide information or money by clicking on a malicious link or opening an infected attachment. The goal is to trick you into sharing data.

Spear phishing: these are communications that are targeted and appear more personal. Cybercriminals are getting good at mining personal information from the internet or your social media accounts to make the information in the email appear more legitimate. 

Smishing: targeted text messages wanting you to click a link or take urgent action.

Our children must understand that cybercriminals want them to click or open a link to gain access to private accounts and personal information, and it’s up to us to teach them the warning signs, so they don’t fall into their trap.

DOWNLOAD MY FREE SPOT THE SCAMS WORKBOOK 

 🚩 IDENTIFY THE RED FLAGS 🚩

Questions to ask yourself to determine if the suspicious email is legitimate…

  1. Does the subject line lure you into urgency, asking you to act fast? 
  2. Does the content evoke emotion, making you feel that you must act immediately? 
  3. Did it come at an unusual time outside of business hours?
  4. Are there typos or grammatical errors?
  5. Can you verify the sender, or does the email address look shady?

Stay alert and stay skeptical! Listen to your intuition, and don’t take any action requested in an email or text unless you are confident the communication is legitimate. Teach your child to always run it by you if they aren’t sure before clicking on any link or following any action.

DOWNLOAD MY FREE SPOT THE SCAMS WORKBOOK TO VISUALLY TEACH YOUR TEEN THIS IMPORTANT LIFE SKILL!

 

Summer break is undoubtedly a great time to relax and vacation, but it’s also the perfect season to purposely teach your kids the life skills that will serve them well today and when they leave your home one day for adulthood.

Whether you have toddlers or teens, take the time over the summer months to teach your kids the life skills they may be lacking. During a busy school year, we sometimes don’t have an opportunity to teach our sons and daughters the crucial things they need to know.

Here are 11 life skills to teach your child this summer and beyond

1. Make a bed

Start simple. “If you can’t do the little things right, you will never be able to do the big things right. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,” said Naval Admiral William H. McRaven in his University of Texas at Austin 2014 commencement address.

kids-make-bed

Teach your kids to start each day by making their bed, reinforcing the fact that little things matter.

READ: WHY YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR BED

2. Write and send mail

In this digital age we are raising kids in, we forget to teach our sons and daughters the basic skills of addressing an envelope properly or where to place the postage stamp. Do your kids know how much stamps cost or where to buy them? A perfect summer field trip might be to the post office.

kids-send-summer-postcards

This summer, have your son or daughter send postcards to their grandparents or other loved ones when you are traveling or mail them from your hometown. What thank you notes need to be written and mailed off to family and friends?

READ: 5 REASONS YOUR KIDS SHOULD WRITE THANK YOU NOTES

3. Pack their camp or travel bags

Whether it’s their sports bag or camp duffle, our sons and daughters need to learn to pack their bags with the contents they need without our help. If your child is younger, you may need to make a checklist for them to follow until they are in the habit of gathering everything by themselves. Older kids can make a list for themselves if need be.

The more you hold your kids responsible for their tasks, the more accountable they will become. 

READ: 5 REASONS TO MAKE SUMMER CAMP A PART OF YOUR FAMILY PLAN

4. Tip wait staff

Most parents know to teach their children proper restaurant etiquette- to look at the server in the eye and order their meals for themselves while politely using their manners.

But, many times, we forget to teach our children how to tip. When you eat out this summer, take the time to show your older children how to figure 15%-20% of the bill so they can confidently tip the server when they are out to eat with friends or on a date one day.

5. Make money

If our children drive a car, carry around an iPhone with a data plan, or wear name-brand clothing and shoes, they undoubtedly need to contribute to paying for these privileges.

Even if we can afford a comfortable lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that we should hinder our child from learning the valuable life skills of working and earning money. 

Can you come alongside your son or daughter and help them resell things online or start a business washing windows or mowing lawns? I’m also a big advocate of having teens get summer jobs in the community- at local restaurants and retailers like we used to do back in the day. 

READ: WHY MY TEENS WILL SPEND THE SUMMER WORKING IN A RESTAURANT

6. Manage money

If our children are going to make money, they need to learn to manage it.

Help your child open a bank account eventually attached to a checkbook or debit card. Teach them how to go into a bank branch and talk to the teller and help them manage their account online.

If your child isn’t old enough to work yet, another way for them to learn to manage money is by giving them a consistent monthly allowance. Don’t pay your child for their performance or for doing chores. But instead, provide them with an allowance for being a valuable part of your family.

READ: 4 TIPS TO GIVING KIDS AN ALLOWANCE

7. Contribute to the household

Everyone in our home is expected to pitch in, for the good of the family team, without getting paid a stipend for it. If you live in the house, you get to help take out the trash, empty the dishwasher, help with meals, and clean this or scrub that.

raise-Contributors-kids-chores

Your child should have repetitive contributing work that benefits the good of the entire household and not just responsibility for caring for their stuff.

8. Fill out paperwork

Come alongside your tweens and teens and begin teaching them how to fill out their camp, sports, and medical paperwork to the best of their ability now so that they are comfortable filling out their job and college applications one day. 

Filling out paperwork is a pain that none of us enjoy, but it’s a fact of life that our older children can certainly handle.

READ: 3 THINGS YOU NEED TO TEACH YOUR HIGH SCHOOLER BEFORE THEY GO TO COLLEGE

9. Know pertinent information

I was driving my daughter’s friend home, and she couldn’t tell me where she lived. The 14-year-old knew her address but couldn’t tell me the major crossroads near her house. Her cell phone was dead, and she didn’t know her Dad’s phone number either.

The adult kindly driving our child home shouldn’t need a data plan to get them there. Our child should know parents’ phone numbers and how to direct an adult to the vicinity of their home without an app. Teach your son or daughter the major crossroads near your home and how to navigate the local area using their brain instead of a device.

10. Make a meal

The summer season is a perfect time to teach our sons and daughters how to navigate the kitchen.

Our younger children can make and pack their lunches for camp, while our older ones can come alongside us and learn to cook dinners for the entire family once in a while. It’s also essential to take the time to teach your child how to navigate the grocery store and shop smart.

Grab my Kitchen and Summer Skills Lists in my ‘How to Create A Summer of Significance Printable Pack HERE!

Be sure to check out my interview “How to Launch Your Teen on Purpose: Teaching Life Skills to Your Teens Today That Will Prepare Them for Tomorrow on Kids Cook Real Food!

11. Laundry from start to finish

  Teach your child the task of doing their laundry from start to finish.

kids-laundry-chores

  “Very few people have a washing machine that’s more complicated than a tablet. If they can work an iPad, they can do laundry,” said childhood expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa.

Take the time this summer to teach your child to do their laundry from start to finish. 

READ: 8 THINGS YOU SHOULD STOP DOING FOR YOUR TEEN

We must remember that one of our main goals as a parent is to teach our children what they will need to know when they leave our home for adulthood. Use summer break as an opportunity to strengthen your son or daughter’s set of life skills.

What life skills will you strive to teach your child this summer?

Unplug-Technology-Family-Device-Holder

I’ve never been more thankful for technology than I am today. 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.

So, what can we parents do to set our loved ones up for success when it comes to digital devices?

Here are 5 Ways to Set Your Family up for Screen-Time Success 

Read more

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

As a mother, 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 children so that they feel uniquely cherished in our family.

One choice we do have, despite our worldly circumstances, is the ability to make our child feel 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

During Covid, 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

  • 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 some goodies including 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. 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 the 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 photos 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 children 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 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 children 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

This summer, if you find yourself spending more time at home and wanting to keep costs low, you’re in luck! There are plenty of fun, budget-friendly activities that can make your time together memorable and enjoyable. Dive into these creative and engaging ideas that will not only entertain but also strengthen family bonds without breaking the bank.

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 in July. 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.

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.

4. Start dialogue journals 

School may be over, but we want to keep up with 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.

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

Our family created this chalk art masterpiece on our patio door during Coronavirus quarantine. Although faded now, this mosaic design we painted on our glass door brings me so much joy today. I don’t want to ever erase it!

Grab some masking or painter’s 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 to enjoy 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!

READ –>> 7 Ways to Create a Summer of Significance

  • Grab the Summer Skills Lists in my ‘How to Create A Summer of Significance’ 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 

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 despite whatever our circumstances may be?

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

Let’s take a deep breath and 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 for helping kids to be playful on their own!)

3. Cultivate an atmosphere of growth

What’s something that didn’t go so well for your child during this school year? 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 with his math skills. This summer we’re using Learning Math Wrap-Ups to strengthen his multiplication and division facts.Learning-wrap-ups-math-learning-palette

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 skills 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 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

Unfortunately, our epic trips, along with many other things are still on hold for this summer. As disappointing as not going on that cruise or European vacation may be, we have to pivot and plan for simpler adventures this summer.

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?

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 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 that 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 happen this summer?

What is a way that you strive to create a Summer of Significance?

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

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