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Back to the Grind! A Way to Leverage the Hectic Life of a Parent

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!


As a youth pastor, I love summer.  Students are out of school and we get to make the most of our time together with adventures around town, mission trips, and one day getaways.  Students are visibly more carefree without the weight of school and schedules on their shoulders.  It’s a time of relationship and community.  It’s a time when students make new friends and spend significant time with old friends.  Summer is a time of new experiences (often life-changing) and creating memories.  What’s not to love about summer?!?

It’s been the same experience for my family.  My wife and I are becoming more aware that the time we have with our young kids at home (something that we sometimes forget is a blessing) is going to continue to change as they grow and spend more time in school.  We have great desires for making the most of this summer.  Some of which we have accomplished and others that are still hoping to be realized.

While we are at the midpoint of summer, there is still some time left to make the most of our summer days while the kids are out of school. What were/are your family goals for the summer? Have you been able to make them happpen?

If you feel like summer hasn’t quite been what you hoped, there is still plenty of time to rally the troops and make some meaningful memories!

Here’s a great article entitled, “The Best Family Summer Ever: Ideas to Help Families Connect Before Summer Slips Away.”

Another idea, in case you missed it in the article, has to do with a “bucket list”.  Our family created a summer bucket list at the beginning of summer and have been checking off a few things here and there. Ours was simply a list on a piece of paper, but in the world of pintrest you can always find someone who is taking it to the next level. Here’s a great idea for a list that is a visual reminder and experience for the family –

It’s not to late to put a little effort in making this a summer to remember!


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