Dear Dads, This is How to Redeem Summer With Your Kids

Growing up, summer was always my favorite time of the year. Why? Because I didn’t have to go to school! Since I was at home a lot more, it provided many more opportunities for connecting with my dad. Now that I am a dad, I want to maximize these moments as much as I can, knowing that one day they will be gone.

  • Have a plan. This should involve moments that you have carved out of your schedule each week to spend with the kids. Before the beginning of each week, think through what these moments are going to look like. Here are a few ideas:
  1. One morning a week, take your kids out for breakfast. Breakfast is cheap (i.e. donuts). Mom gets a break. And you get some quality time with the kiddos.
  2. One afternoon a week, try to get off work a bit early and take your kids to the pool or beach. If neither are accessible, break out the hose and sprinkler.
  3. Push bed time back a bit a couple nights out of the week and do something fun (game night, late night swim, watching a movie, playing legos or dolls).
  4. Make sure you are doing the bed time routine every night. Mom has been chasing the crazies all day long. She will need a break. And this will give you a great opportunity to spiritually invest in the kiddos with some Scripture reading and prayer. And if you are tired after a long day of work, get over it. Mom is more tired than you are. That’s a fact!
  • Make sure whatever you do, you do it intentionally. Your plan doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it better be intentional. Otherwise you will not stick to it, or you will but not fully, and therefore not be engaged.
  • Prepare to make extra sacrifices. Since summer brings about a new routine for the family, you will probably have to pick up the slack a little bit more in areas that you didn’t have to during the school year.
  • Look for opportunities to chop it up with your kids. My kids will talk my ear off if I open up to that. Look for these opportunities and use them as teaching times. I am convinced that I have become a better communicator because I’ve had to learn how to really explain things to my kids. If you can explain things to a 3 year old, you can explain anything to anyone.
  • Bring your kids to work with you every once in a while (if your job allows that – I’m thinking of my good friend who works in a machine shop right now). Even though your kids may not particularly enjoy this the way you want them to (because it’s not  part of their rhythm), they will always remember it. Sometimes I will just bring the kids (all three of them) in my office and put a movie on.

            Actually, as I write this, it is 8:55am, on a work day. Mom is at a doctor’s appointment, and the kids – well, my boys at least – are watching a movie and loving just being near me while I work.

The added bonus of this again is that mom gets a break 😉

  • Find out what they really love doing and do a lot of that with them over the summer. On any given day, I can be found playing with baby dolls, legos, balls, pink blankets, and more legos.
  • Take More Breaks From the Work Rut Than Normal (if possible). Listen, you need to work. Because you need to provide for your family. But your kids will only be kids for so long. You will always be working, well into their adult years. Sadly, work is not going anywhere haha. But when possible, go into work a little late (early on another day to make it up) and come home early (and, again, stay late another day).

On that note, since I’ve worked most nights this week, I will take the rest of this day off (because God’s grace and the freedom of my job allows me to do so) and go swim with my kids.

  • Pray for the grace of Jesus to sustain you; to give you a love for your children (even when they are unlovable), to grant you strength to be gracious, merciful, slow to anger, sensitive to their feelings, not harsh, present, life-giving, passionate, energized, and most of all, the greatest bridge in your children’s lives between them and Jesus. Pray for that. God will answer it.

 

2 Comments

  • Sergio Rincon says:

    Hi Aaron, I’m often thinking about the example you and the Aletheia Men have set for many guys, it’s very contagious. It reminds me of the following verse from Hebrews 13:7 HCSB “Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith.” I’m taking your post to heart to find some ways to step it up this Summer with my younger cousins. Thank You Pastor.

  • AP says:

    Thanks my man. Such an encouraging word for me. Appreciate you. Hope all is well.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>