Summer Musings from Anne Jaroszewicz …
Summer…the best time of year, and three warm, glorious months to take a break from the routines of the school year and recharge. It’s a time we encourage our children to take walks in the woods or simply lie in a hammock and daydream! But, when was the last time WE took that walk in the woods or lay in that hammock and daydreamed about our hopes and dreams for our children?
I was reminded of the importance of spending that time in the hammock and “thoughtfully wishing” a future for our children when I recently re-read Hal Edward Runkel’s book, “Scream Free Parenting”. In it, he takes us through an exercise of visualizing our children as the adults we hope they will be. He asks us to consider questions such as, ‘What is the content of (your adult child’s) character? How self-sufficient is he/she? Does he/she take responsibility for his choices? Is he/she physically healthy and active?’ You get the picture. Once we answer these questions, we realize, in order for our children to become the adults we hope they will be, they need practice….practice making choices (even bad ones!) and learning that choices come with consequences (good and not so good!). And they need to start practicing NOW, when they are young!
So, in addition to spending that time in the hammock this summer, look for opportunities to give your kids practice in, Decision-making (PB&J or grilled cheese? Blue or Pink shorts? Swim or bike ride?), Responsibility (chores first, then fun), and Choices have Consequences (follow through when they break the rules…EVERYTIME). No, the Summer won’t be without fights, meltdowns, and tough parenting moments, but thanks to your “thoughtful wishing” you will know it is all part of Helping Them GROW!