Cherish the Summer with Those You Love
I have three sons. Each has a totally different personality and different interests. One enjoys a day spent in front of the TV, another bores easily and complains that there is nothing to do, and my third child plays outside all day. When I was a kid, most children were outside, exploring and socializing. Most of my childhood memories include adventures with my brother, building forts, and exploring on our bikes. If we are honest, we all want our kids to be outdoors playing in the pool, building tree houses, riding bikes, and just being kids.
However, the reality is we live in a world that is extremely fast paced. Most parents are running from when they wake up until they go to bed, trying to find balance between work, finances, household duties, and everything that is involved with raising their children including homework, music lessons, and sports. Some days can seem like an endless to do list. But when I stop and consider their future, what I really want is for my sons to grow up making memories that will help build their characters, living experiences that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
My wife and I want to ensure our children feel they are loved every day. We are invested in their lives, from being those loud, supportive parents on the sidelines at all their sporting events, to doing a family activity together every Saturday night. I have found that traditions are what shapes who our family is today. In order to do this we often have to reevaluate our priorities and re-prioritize to make sure we are accomplishing our goals.
You can start to change the pace around your home by committing to a few simple things like saying “I love you” more, going for walks, playing with your kids and their toys, or just sitting down and talking. This summer, take a step back and think about the memories from your childhood. Which ones mean the most to you? Grab a calendar and make a plan to recreate those activities with your family. I challenge every family to purposefully create memories that will become traditions passed on from generation to generation. Summer is the perfect time to slow down, go out in nature, and build memories that will last a lifetime.
Chad Hutchinson has an M.S. in education and is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Southwestern Adventist University. He lives in Cleburne, Texas, with his wife, Kim, and their three sons, Jaden, Jarrett, and Jaxon.