One of the reasons I love summer is the opportunity for relationship and quality time as a family.  As the window on summer closes and the school year grind is gearing up, I’ve been thinking about ways to keep a focus on relationships in the midst of the busyness of a school year.  And let’s be honest…

We are busy people.  We have a lot going on.

It’s not just the adults that are busy.  Many kids today are just as busy.  My greatest fear, as a parent, is becoming nothing more than a taxi cab!  As if my only role in life is carting them around to school, sports, friends, and wherever else they think they need to go.

As we gear up for the busyness of the fall, I wanted to share something that I’ve found very helpful.   It’s a chart from the book, Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide….  It gives you a way to think thru your day (maybe in ways you’ve never thought about before) and see that you have many opportunities to come alongside your son or daughter and influence, love, shape, and nurture.

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There are times in the day that can be leveraged for relationship.  Can you imagine the last time in a day you were able to establish values, interpret life, build intimacy, and instill purpose???

Meal time, drive time, bed time, morning time are all great opportunities to parent and influence your child.

Here’s the deal:  it’s not that you are going to have to give an impressive speech at each one of these moments everyday.  That’s simply not realistic!  However, the cumulative effect over time of you leveraging these moments (with different levels of success) over the course of a child’s life will shape that life!

This chart helps us think through how we can still find places to influence and parent in the middle of our shuffling around.  It reminds us to slow down and be intentional.  It might even encourage you to try to create some new habits with your kids so you have the times listed above (Anyone getting their kids to sit at the table with them for dinner these days?)

Summer is almost over and the school year is upon us.  I hope this is a practical tool that you can use to be the parent you want to be to your kids!

Have you ever thought about your day this way? 

How can you take one of these ideas and implement into your routine today?

Which role of the of four listed above do you most often play?   Which do you neglect?

I would love to hear your thoughts!