As the new school year kicks off, this is the perfect time to do a little family tune-up by breaking bad habits and starting good habits. Here’s our round up of the best practical ways to improve your family life!
1. Put Jesus First
• Start the habit of daily time with God. This is for you and your children! Spending daily time with God is the best way we can grow in our faith, so why not start teaching your children now?
• Pray every day before school. This is also a great way to curb anxiety in young children!
• Memorize Scripture together. Pick a verse, a psalm, or a whole chapter and practice it a few times every day.
2. Make Your Love Known
• Give each of your children a hug and tell them verbally that you love them every day.
• Use a Sharpie marker to jot a quick note on their napkin and tuck it in their lunch. (My mom did this all the way through high school!)
• If you have multiple children, pick a time to do some one-on-one bonding with each of them. Choose an activity you know they’ll love!
3. Use Car Time Intentionally
• Ask your children about how their days went. If you have children that need more prompting, try this list of fun, specific questions to get them talking.
• Pay attention to your kids’ moods. Some children conceal when something bad has happened. Taking the time to notice can help you discover if they are being bullied or have a problem at school.
• Listen to wholesome, Christian music or an audiobook.
4. Make the Most of the Time You Have
• As often as possible, sit down together for family dinner. Try our list of 101 Dinner Table Discussion Questions to improve conversation. Make the dinner table a no-phone zone!
• If weather permits, take a family walk.
• Make the most of bedtime by reading stories and cuddling. This should be top priority for parents that work long hours and may not get to spend other quality time with the kids.
5. Prioritize Healthy Habits
• Establish, or re-commit to, a bedtime routine. Studies show these routines strengthen the parent-child bond, make children feel safe, and give them the skills to be independent.
• Limit screen time. Establish ground rules for phone, computer, and TV use and stick to them. Here are five parent-tested tips for limiting electronics use.
• Eat breakfast every day. It doesn’t have to be fancy – but breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make sure your kids aren’t skipping it!
• Pack healthy school lunches. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a great guide from the American Heart Association.
Hey homeschool families…we haven’t forgotten about you! Here’s a couple links with some great ideas for how to start this school year right.
6. Remember Grace
There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. We lose our tempers. We don’t show love. We don’t make time for our kids. We fail to put our best intentions into practice.
The good news is…God’s grace is enough! As you try to instill new habits into your family life, we hope that you embrace a grace-filled parenting mindset.
Grace-filled parenting means it’s not about doing everything right – it’s about trying to honor God with our parenting. It means that when we fail, we admit our mistakes to God and others, we ask for forgiveness, and we embrace the fresh starts God offers us.
When we model the grace and forgiveness of God to our kids, we become families that flourish.