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…Before The Fall Season

Hot Topic: Grounding Your Family Before The Fall Season

Summer is long and loud and fun and so, so busy. If you have multiple kids in multiple grades, I’m surprised that you’re even reading this right now. Between day camps, overnight camps, conferences, visiting family, family vacations, work trips, lessons, first jobs, summer internships, and play dates, it’s impressive that the average family still remembers what the others look like.

This is part of the fun and madness of summer. When families get some healthy breathing room, it  helps prepare them for Central Oregon’s two weeks of Autumn and subsequent eight months of winter. Still, all this space can start to feel more like chaos and make the family unit feel like scattered roommates.

Let’s take a look at how we can use a little structured conversation to regroup before the last weeks of summer kareen into the first days of school kareen into the holiday season.

Tell Stories

As a family, look back at the summer by telling some stories about each person’s favorite or worst or best or funniest or weirdest thing that happened. And ask questions! Why is that your favorite? What got you the most excited? What fears did you overcome? (Letting go of the wall at the deep end of the pool is no small feat, people!)  Learn a bit about each other and what this season has meant for your family, then look at what’s coming next.

Set Goals

Have each person pick one goal that is tangible and one goal that is more personal. Perhaps your middle schooler wants to get half way through the summer reading list she started by Thanksgiving break and make one new friend every month.

Maybe you want to learn to knit new family Christmas stockings and get to know that one neighbor better.

Maybe you want to finish your woodworking project and pray every Tuesday morning for strong marriages in your community.

Maybe Dad is the one knitting and Mom is the one woodworking – no judgement, folks.

Setting goals is an important skill and a simple, yet powerful way to lead by example.

Set a Family Mission

Now that you know about your family as individuals, you can determine your family’s mission.

For the fictional family above (we’ll call them the Stewarts) who are looking to make new friends, deepen relationships, and support the marriages around them, their mission might look like this:

The Stewart Family Mission is to: Show Love

Or: Show Compassion

Or: Think of Others

Or: Offer Grace First

There’s no right answer, but looking at each person’s goal and finding a unifying trait among your family is a powerful tool and could be all you need to feel connected and focused as we leave behind Summer’s wide open chaos for the holiday’s cabin fever.