I was serious when I said I wanted to be intentional about how we spent our summer. When I told my husband, I was pleased to discover that we were on the same page...about something we hadn't even yet discussed! Evidently, he's as wise as Lori.
Our schedule was still pretty packed when I came across Lori's post. We had to get through VBS. VBS keeps us busy every year between the end of school and the actual week of VBS. Teaching VBS requires prep time -- lesson plans and planning meetings, that sort of thing.
VBS was last week and we had a wonderful time. However, one thing became glaringly obviously during that fun-filled, rushed week. We needed to get super intentional with Zach about listening to adults and showing respect. The only adults he was butting heads with were, thankfully, his parents. He was struggling with his desire to interject whenever we'd discipline Luke. When asked to quiet down, he'd ignore the request and just keep being rowdy. When asked to do something he didn't want to do, he'd moan and groan and drop to his knees in protest. He was beginning to use unacceptable words and would taunt and tease his little brother. He was following along with misbehaving friends, rather than obeying what he knows to be right and acceptable behavior. He was even beginning to be dishonest. He was not making wise choices. We have since removed all TV, movies, video games, and even friends that are not rated G. We talked long and hard about how each of us has to make a difficult decision when it comes to taking in unsavory information. Do we take it in and act on it, or do we choose to control our behavior and maintain good character? He understands; however, he "hates being six - making the right choices is just soooo hard!" In just the few days since our talk and removal of bad influences, we've seen quite a change in behavior. I'm sure he'll get some of those more "grown up" things back before long; but it will be clear to everyone that grown up things come with the expectation to behave with more maturity and accountability.
Another thing we've gotten intentional about is time spent with friends. We want our children to understand the value of meaningful friendships. We also want our home to be the place the kids want to be! So, we've got weekly playdates set up. Lots of swimming, science museums, blueberry picking, a July 4th party, art days, petting zoos, etc... Fun stuff!
Art days... My kids are loving it! At least one day each week we do an art project. Tomorrow we will be doing our third project in ten days! This one will be in response to our trip to the science museum tomorrow morning. My goal is really to inspire creativity in my children, while having fun, and making memories. We are definitely accomplishing the latter two...only time will tell if their creativity is being nurtured.
My husband was all over this intentional business too... With our behavioral issues in mind, he ordered Family Devotions 2. We've just started it so I can't really vouch for how good the book is, but I'm enjoying this time spent with our family around the dinner table each night. I love seeing my husband leading his family spiritually. I pray the boys will take this with them into their adult lives and become godly men like their father.
As we've functioned intentionally these last few days, a peace and joy has transcended upon our home. The kids know what fun things to expect next. They also know what we are expecting of them! Next... I am trying to figure out how to introduce specific chores. They are good about picking up their rooms when told to, but I think it's about time for them to have greater responsibilities around the house. I just don't know what that looks like yet! Any ideas? I'm all ears.