My Advice to Parents This Summer

There are so many thing that we do differently as parents.

Once I was asked why I always thought my way was the best.  I smiled at my sister and said, “If I thought a different way was the best then I obviously would do it that way.  Right?  Who would think that something else was better but would still choose not to do it that way?”  As I am getting older, I am realizing that people as a whole don’t do things because their way is that best.  Sometimes they know its a bad idea but it sure is easier.

In Sunday school one morning we were talking about parenting and I said that I firmly believed that most bad parents would do things better if they had the tools or knew how to.  One woman looked at me and said that just wasn’t true.  She knew that the way I was doing it was much better than her way but she just did want to spend the time that I did on it.  That was like a slap in the face!  I want to believe that ALL parents want what’s best for their children and will go to whatever length it takes to do it.

That’s when I started to think about people that over schedule their kids.  We all know it’s bad to keep our kids running but some of us still do it.  Stop running and spend time just sitting together.  Relax.

People are often shocked that I “school” my kids in the summer.  They think I’m stealing their summer.  Then they give me the run down of what their kids are doing for the summer.

One mom even said she didn’t want her child tutored (she’s falling behind in school) because she thought it would just be too much with the two sports camps and other running that they had planned.  When did education and success in life become an “if I have time” issue?

I say lets change the way kids are being raised in our country!  Let’s teach them that learning is FUN not a chore that we only have to do for a grade and only during the school year!  Let’s teach our kids that reading is FUN and relaxing is important.  Let’s take the time to SIT with our kids and teach them the importance of being together and quiet and I don’t mean watching a movie.

This summer, grab a fun book series and read together on the front porch with your family or on your bad.  Get a book of age-appropriate science experiments and learn about the wonders of science as a family.  Pack a lot of water and snacks, and put on some tennis shoes and take a hike.  I mean a real one and picnic along the way under a cool tree.  Play a board game.

While you’re doing all of those things as a family, talk about it.  Talk about the sun, the heat, the clouds, the plot, the author’s writing style, anything that comes to mind.

Reach out, learn something as a family this summer.  Explore!  You might even learn something you didn’t know about your kids or maybe they’ll learn something they didn’t know about you!