Wellp, after months that seemed like years of lockdown, we’ve finally made it to summer.
With many local and state governments opening up and Kemp giving us the okay for many businesses and churches to open back up, many of us are now being introduced to a new normal.
New normal, but same summer. OR at least, same summer problems.
School is OUT. That means no homework and extremely bored kids. That means we parents have to come up with new ways to entertain them, and our quarantine routine might not do it anymore. How do we get back to our productive workflows while still keeping the kids engaged and active?
Co-founder Brandon Browne and our team at the Mind and Body Christian Health Group in Kennesaw answer related questions in our latest RISE interview here:
While the interview takes place during lockdown, there are still SEVERAL helpful tips covered here. From raising children, seeing God’s grace, to strengthening your family’s relationship, you don’t want to miss advice.
Like we did during COVID-19, we just have to continue building new or building on helpful habits. And the best way to build these habits is to include them in our daily routines.
Here’s what to include in your summer with your children.
Include one-on-one time with the kids
No no no, we’re not going to tell you to wake up at 5 AM in the morning and get all your work done before you serve your children and your family. What type of healthy summer routine would that be? If this past quarantine has taught you anything, you’ll learn that you can’t put work over family.
Instead, we’re encouraging you to make sure to include your children in your summertime schedule. Actually set aside time for the little munchkins. Introduce them to new fun activities, help them learn or improve on sports and get active.
Maybe you want your children to still practice social distancing, so signing them up for a sport or summer camp is out of the question. That’s totally fine. Pick up a basketball, soccer ball, or any ball and bring the team to them! This might not be the summer to be the all-star basketball player at your church’s little league. However, there’s nothing wrong with helping your child condition their hand-eye coordination skills and good sportsmanship.
However, if you and your child are willing to take a crack at summer camps during the coronavirus, make sure you read these guidelines from the CDC.
Another less intensive option could be to just catch up with them on their favorite TV shows. Or just watch a movie with them, uninterrupted.
But you can even take it one step further. Our counselors invite you to rebuild your relationship with your kids.
Do you ever feel like your child doesn’t open up to you enough? Or that you’re always arguing with them?
Of course, you do! But when was the last time you sat down and communicated how you really felt and why you felt that way? And when was the last time you invited them to do the same? When’s the last time you sincerely listened?
The Lord calls us to be quick to listen and slow to anger. So if you’ve ever looked for a time to not only practice what the Lord preaches but also strengthen your relationship with your children, you can stop looking.
We’ve been lucky for beautifully warm and sunny days here in Georgia. Social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean shut yourself indoors 24/7. In fact, it’s much easier to practice being 6-feet apart when you’re outside!
No seriously, make sure your summer with kids a little bit of some outside time. This can even be included with your children or other members of your family. But especially your children. When weather permits, playtime can be spent outside soaking up the summery sun. There are so many benefits to the sun’s rays on our bodies and our minds. One study even found that with the more sunlight, the less likely someone would suffer from depression. No wonder we feel much better during the warmer, sunnier days, and less in the colder ones.
Help your kids learn more about Christ
We have said time and time again how important it is to reconnect. We said it for your kids, we’re saying it for your spouse, but without Christ, achieving this will be rather difficult. There are multiple ways you and your kids can give some time to God.
Parents, we’re sure you know that we serve a gracious God. A God that gave you healthy eyes and great internet access to even read this in a pandemic. But do your kids know?
Let’s fill this summer with helping your kids reconnect with Christ. You can start off by asking them what they know about the Word, their favorite Bible stories, or their favorite Gospel songs.
Create a space for you and your child to actually talk about God without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. Let them ask questions. Let them admit what they don’t understand. And also, don’t be afraid to let them know when you don’t understand or don’t know something. While we are not nearly as perfect as God, we are still members of His kingdom, and we will be judged as such. ESPECIALLY by our kids. Show them God’s grace.
And don’t forget to teach them prayers for wisdom, for health, and for guidance. Pray over them and invite them to pray with you.
If your child doesn’t have an exact Bible-reading plan, introduce them to YouVersion Bible App or simply read the devotionals on there.
Introduce your kids to therapy
Therapy for kids? Aren’t children too young to experience mental illness? Believe it or not, but 50% mental illnesses begin at the tender age of 14, according to Psychiatry.org.
With the many stressors that come with teenage-dom, it’s totally possible for your child to be experiencing signs of mental illness. For some children, being able to articulate their feelings to their parents and time are the best antidotes. But of course, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
Still need some more help? We’ve got wonderful counselors on board equipped to help anxious and angry children.
Let’s not come out of quarantine the same way we were launched into it. Let’s continue to focus on building our relationship with kids. And let’s encourage them to continue to build their relationship with Christ. For more tips on building a healthy summer routine with the kids, check out our full RISE interview here: https://youtu.be/36rdkF4ZTOk